What are common causes of pelvic pain?

Dr. Kevin D. Benson, MD

There are many causes of pelvic pain, according to Dr. Kevin Benson of Sanford Health. Watch the video to learn why pelvic pain is considered a neuro-muscular disorder with causes ranging from bladder inflammation to skin disorders.

Dr. Kevin W. Windom, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Pelvic pain can be caused by any problems arising from the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, vagina, bladder, lower intestines, colon or rectum. Pelvic pain can also be caused by musculoskeletal problems. The most common causes of pelvic pain are ovulation pain and menstrual cramps. These are usually treated symptomatically with over-the-counter medications but at times can be debilitating. Other more serious causes of pelvic pain are endometriosis, uterine fibroids, vulvodynia or other types of vaginal pain, pelvic infections, urinary tract infection, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis or gas pains. There are numerous reasons for pelvic pain due to the fact that there are numerous organs in the pelvic area, and because of this, it is very difficult to diagnose the problem and medical attention is usually necessary if these problems persist.

Constipation is one of the most underrated and undiagnosed causes of pelvic pain. Others causes include problems like urinary tract infections, kidney stones, hernias, diverticulitis, gastroenteritis (often known as a stomach bug), menstrual cramps or rupture of an ovarian cyst. Appendicitis and pregnancy also cause pelvic pain.

Dr. Maria F. Daly, DO
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Pelvic pain may be acute or chronic. Different age groups are associated with more frequent causes. Some of the causes of acute pain may be the following:

  • Infections of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, such as PID as a result of a sexually transmitted disease
  • Endometritis—an infection of the lining of the uterus from an ascending infection or during or after childbirth
  • Ovarian twisting (adnexal torsion)
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cysts or tumors which may or may not rupture
  • Painful periods, dysmenorrhea
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Pelvic tumors—both non cancerous and cancerous
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Abruption placenta in pregnancy
  • Spontaneous abortion in pregnancy
  • Non Gynecological causes may include:
    —Bowel disease (Chrons or Colitis)
    —Kidney stones
    —Musculoskeletal such (acute muscle tear, sprain or a disc problem)
Paula Greer
Midwifery Nursing Specialist

The most common causes of pelvic pain are ovulation and menstruation. Another leading cause of pelvic pain is infection. This infection is sometimes a sexually transmitted disease. Other causes of pelvic pain may be endometriosis, vulvodynnia, and fibroids or ovarian cysts. Pelvic pain could even be an ectopic pregnancy. Any persistent pelvic pain should be evaluated by your healthcare provider.

Chronic pelvic pain is mainly caused by endometriosis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.