Several types of diseases and conditions can cause pelvic pain. Often chronic pelvic pain results from more than one condition.
Pelvic pain may arise from your digestive, reproductive or urinary system. Recently, doctors have recognized that some pelvic pain, particularly chronic pelvic pain, may also arise from muscles and connective tissue (ligaments) in the structures of the pelvic floor. Occasionally, pelvic pain may be caused by irritation of nerves in the pelvis.
Female reproductive system
Pelvic pain arising from the female reproductive system may be caused by conditions such as:
- Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea)
- Ectopic pregnancy (or other pregnancy-related conditions)
- Miscarriage (before the 20th week) or intrauterine fetal death
- Mittelschmerz (ovulation pain)
- Ovarian cancer
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Uterine fibroids
Other causes in women or men
Examples of other possible causes of pelvic pain — in women or men — include:
- Colon cancer
- Chronic constipation
- Crohn's disease
- Inguinal hernia
- Interstitial cystitis (also called painful bladder syndrome)
- Intestinal obstruction
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Kidney stones
- Past physical or sexual abuse
- Pelvic floor muscle spasms
- Ulcerative colitis
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
May 18, 2013
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
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- Interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome. National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/interstitialcystitis/index.htm. Accessed April 7, 2013.
- Howard F. Evaluation of acute pelvic pain in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 7, 2013.
- Brown K, et al. Evaluation of acute pelvic pain in the adolescent female. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 7, 2013.
- Howard F. Causes of chronic pelvic pain in women. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 7, 2013.
- Andrews J, et al. Noncyclic Chronic Pelvic Pain Therapies for Women: Comparative Effectiveness Reviews No. 41. Rockville, Md. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK84586. Accessed April 7, 2013.
- Yunker A, et al. Systematic review of therapies for noncyclic chronic pelvic pain in women. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey. 2012;67:417.
- Stacy J, et al. Persistent pelvic pain: Rising to the challenge. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2012;52:502.
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- Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=$eid&isbn=978-1-4557-0295-4&uniqId=398813857-1936. Accessed April 10, 2013.