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When should a woman call her doctor for chronic pelvic pain?

A woman should call her doctor for chronic pelvic pain if the pain is affecting her ability to function normally, if the pain worsens, or to try to determine the cause of the pain and possible treatments for it.

Chronic pelvic pain is pain that occurs between the hips and below the belly button and that lasts for at least six months. It may be present at all times, or may come in cycles, occuring at certain times of the menstrual cycle, for example. Nearly 15 percent of women ages 18-50 experience chronic pelvic pain and the problem is the reason for about 10 percent of visits to gynecologists.

There are several different conditions that can cause chronic pelvic pain, including problems with the urinary tract or bowel as well as problems with the reproductive system. A doctor can begin to track down the cause of chronic pelvic pain by taking a thorough medical history, doing a pelvic examination and possibly ordering imaging tests to view the pelvic organs.

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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.