In pain

Are you one of the many women who suffer from pelvic pain? You are not alone! Some 12 to 20 percent of women experience chronic pelvic pain, and approximately 61 percent of the cases go undiagnosed according to the National Pain Foundation. Many women spend years searching for a cause and a solution to their pain.

Pelvic pain is complex because there are so many things that can cause it. Therefore, if you suffer from pelvic pain, you should be evaluated by a doctor early on in order to locate the cause of the pain so it can be effectively treated.

Your doctor will start with a history by asking about your symptoms, past medical problems, and even personal behaviors to better determine the probable cause of the pain. Afterward,  a physical exam and diagnostic testing will be carried out to help pinpoint the source of your pain.

Causes of Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain can be caused by many factors. Issues arising in the bowel or bladder can contribute to pelvic pain. Constipation or difficult bowel movements are common problems that may cause temporary or intermittent pain. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can contribute to pelvic pain. Symptoms of IBS include intermittent, recurring cramping in the abdomen and pelvis, bloating, constipation or diarrhea. 

Kidney or bladder stones can also cause intense, though temporary pelvic pain. Interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome, is a chronic condition that affects the bladder and causes uncomfortable pressure and pain. It is characterized by fluctuating periods of pain and remission of symptoms.  

Infections in the reproductive organs and urinary system may also be a source of pelvic pain. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are painful and irritating, however, UTIs are generally easy to treat with antibiotics. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a host of conditions caused by infections that are passed from one person to the next in blood, semen or other bodily fluids. STIs can be caused by bacterial infections in the case of gonorrhea, syphilis or chlamydia, or by parasites or viruses. 

In addition, pelvic floor disorders that cause muscle contractions of the pelvic floor can also cause painful or frequent urination, constipation and pelvic pain. Other conditions that can be the source of pelvic pain include: Appendicitis, menstruation, endometriosis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, inguinal hernia and intestinal obstruction.


Treatment Options for Pelvic Pain

The treatment for pelvic pain depends upon the cause and the severity of the pain. For symptoms associated with an infection, such as some sexually transmitted infections, antibiotics may be used to clear the infection and thus the source of the pain. For pain associated with menstruation, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications or a heating pad can provide comfort.  Strengthening exercises with physical therapy may also help relieve and reduce the pain associated with pelvic floor disorders. Dietary changes may help relieve pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome and or constipation. Yet other causes of pelvic pain may require surgical intervention

If you have tried these measures and the pain is still present, then you should be evaluated by a pain management physician who specializes in the treatment of pelvic pain. Dr. Demesmin has a special interest in pelvic pain and completed an internship in OBGYN prior to specializing in pain management. He may offer you minimally invasive procedures in order to reduce or get rid of your pain. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

Didier Demesmin, MD is a board certified interventional pain specialist, board certified anesthesiologist, and Chief of St. Peter’s University Hospital Department of Pain Medicine. He also serves as a clinical assistant professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and program director of the Interventional Pain Medicine Fellowship at JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. Dr. Demesmin provides four office locations in New Jersey and one in New York City. Call 732-873-6868, or visit UPMCPainMedicine.com for more information.

Learn more: http://upmcpainmedicine.com

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