When to seek care for pelvic pain


Women should consult a doctor as soon as pelvic pain starts to affect their quality of life. — TNS

Pelvic pain is common, affecting 15% of women of reproductive age.

Pinpointing its cause, whether it’s endometriosis, ovarian cysts or musculoskeletal issues, can be a challenge.

Mayo Clinic gynaecologic surgeon Dr Megan Wasson, who specialises in minimally-invasive procedures, says it’s important to seek medical help if chronic pelvic pain starts affecting your quality of life or if there are signs of a serious underlying condition.

“If you know 10 women, you know at least one woman who’s suffering with chronic pelvic pain,” she notes.

Chronic pelvic pain refers to having ongoing pain for at least six months.

It can be connected to various underlying issues.

“It can be pain with menstrual cycles or pain with your period, it can be pain with intercourse, pain with urination, pain with bowel movements, pain with certain activities,” Dr Wasson says.

Identifying the cause of pain starts with discussing your medical history with your healthcare team.

“That will guide the next steps, whether that is checking for a urine infection, getting an ultrasound, getting advanced imaging like a pelvic MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), or looking at the vasculature.

“It is really guided by that history,” she says.

The best time to seek care is when the pain starts to affect your quality of life.

“We don’t want to ignore pelvic pain.

“We want to have that thorough evaluation to make sure that there isn’t anything that requires more urgent intervention,” Dr Wasson says. – By Deb Balzer/Mayo Clinic News Network/Tribune News Service

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Pelvic pain , pain , women's health


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