What’s That Cramp? When Not to Ignore Pelvic Pain

Many women experience pelvic pain at some point in their lives. According to some estimates, close to 40% of women of reproductive age report pelvic pain to their primary care physicians. Some women have come to expect pelvic pain, especially during their monthly periods, and while pelvic pain is a common problem, it can require medical attention. Our experts explain why in some instances you shouldn’t ignore your pelvic discomfort.

What is pelvic pain?

Pelvic pain occurs in the lower abdomen and can feel like a stabbing pain or a steady dull pressure. This type of pain can come and go or may be constant. A variety of conditions can cause pelvic pain, including urinary tract infections. Physicians use imaging tests, such as ultrasounds, to help make a diagnosis. The following are instances where you should seek prompt attention.

It’s long-lasting

Mild pelvic pain during your period is probably not a cause for concern. Menstrual-related pain typically goes away shortly after your period starts and may return each month during the premenstrual phase.

However, continuous pelvic pain that lasts weeks or months is cause for concern. Pain in the pelvic area that lasts six months or more is considered chronic. Pain may come in cycles, such as after eating or during sex. One of our gynecologists can help figure out what’s going on and whether treatment is necessary.

It’s causing unnecessary suffering

Mild pelvic pain may not interfere with your daily life and may just feel like a temporary nuisance. However, moderate-to-severe pelvic pain can significantly impact you on a day-to-day basis. If you’re missing days from work, canceling social engagements, limiting your physical activity, or are in excruciating pain, it’s best to make an appointment with us. You may have a treatable condition that your provider can manage to bring you relief.  

It doesn’t respond to home care measures

Over-the-counter medication, changes in diet, warm compresses, and relaxation techniques like yoga are often enough to relieve pelvic pain in many women. If you’ve tried measures at home and your pelvic pain fails to respond, it’s time to see one of our gynecologists for a thorough evaluation. Pelvic pain that doesn’t respond to home care measures may indicate something more serious is going on.

You have a gynecological condition

Whether you have endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome, you shouldn’t ignore pelvic pain if you have a previously diagnosed gynecological condition. Pelvic pain may be a sign that your condition has worsened, or at the very least that your symptoms aren’t effectively controlled.

You’re in early pregnancy

Never ignore pelvic pain during the first trimester of pregnancy. Lower abdominal pain during the first trimester requires an immediate call to our office. While some pelvic pressure and cramping is perfectly normal, it’s more common during mid-to-late pregnancy. Pelvic pain early in a pregnancy may be a sign of a miscarriage. Even if the pain isn’t severe, it may be an indication that something is wrong. It’s best to have us evaluate you and your baby.

Whether you have pelvic pain or another women’s health care need, Virtuosa GYN is here for you every step of the way. For comprehensive gynecological care, call our

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