Chronic Pelvic Pain or CPP is a quite typical problem that is being seen in women in the present day. This has become a leading challenge for health care providers as this problem has a complex natural history and exhibits difficulty in getting cured.
Chronic Pelvic Pain is the pain that occurs in the area right below the bellybutton and between the hips that can last for six months or more and sometimes can also occur in a set pattern like it can occur at specific times like during urination, during menstruation, before and after having meals or during and after sexual intercourse. The major issue with this problem is that this pain is often neglected and thus poorly managed.
Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain
There can be a number of reasons that can cause Chronic Pelvic Pain. It can be a result of urological, musculoskeletal, gynecological and various other body disorders. Some major causes of CPP are as under:
- Endometriosis: In this condition the tissue from the lining of the womb or uterus grows outside the uterus. These deposits of the growing tissue react to the menstrual cycle like thickening, breaking down and bleeding every month in accordance to the hormone level that rises and falls. And as all this happens outside the uterus, the blood & tissue cannot go out the body through the vaginal tract and therefore get stuck in the abdomen which in turn leads to hurtful cysts.
- Tension in the pelvic floor muscles: The pelvic floor muscles can experience tension or spasms that can account to chronic pelvic pain.
- Recurring pelvic inflammatory disease: It can be the result of a long-term and sustained infection which is usually sexually transmitted. This causes scarring in the pelvic organs.
- Fibroids: A feeling of heaviness and pressure can be felt in the lower abdomen owing to the noncancerous uterine growths. They do not often cause sharp pain except when they become deprived of blood supply and eventually start dying or degenerating.
- Irritable bowel syndrome: Bloating, diarrhea or constipation can be a source of irritable bowel syndrome thus leading to pelvic pain and pressure.
- Painful bladder syndrome: This is when there is a chronic pain in the bladder and a constant need to urinate is felt. As soon as the bladder fills in, the pelvic pain begins. The pain might lower down after urination but this is only a momentary relief.
- Pelvic congestion syndrome: Sometimes an enlarged, varicose-type vein around the uterus can be result in pelvic pain but this is not a general phenomenon with every woman having an enlarged vein. Hence it is not a sure cause foe pelvic pain and so is not accepted by some doctors.
- Other causes: Other causes can include Damaged or trapped nerves in the pelvic region that hurt when certain movements are made and musculoskeletal pain. In some cases, psychological reasons have also seen to lead to this problem like thinking too much about it and stress.
Symptoms of Chronic Pelvic Pain
The symptoms of Chronic Pelvic Pain are as under:
- Recurring severe pain in the pelvic region
- Intermittent pain
- Heaviness in the pelvic area
- Pain in bowel movements
- Pain while prolonged sitting
- Pain during sexual intercourse
Diagnosis of Chronic Pelvic Pain
The doctor can do a complete medical history study and a physical examination. Other tests can include Pelvic Examination, Ultra-sound, Laparoscopy, Chlamydia test, Gonorrhoea test and urine test.
Treatment of Chronic Pelvic Pain
The treatment of CPP can include (a) lifestyle changes like maintaining a good posture and regular exercise regime (b) Pre-medication like Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs & others (c) Physical Therapy like Nerve stimulation, relaxation exercises and biofeedback (d) Surgery.
Though the treatment of this pain is available, it can be a very painful experience both physically and psychologically. Hence it is always better to prevent it from happening. The easiest way to prevent this chronic pain is early diagnosis and treatment other than a healthy and hygienic lifestyle. Further, one can also seek for the help of a psychiatrist/counselor to avoid the situation of going in depression and stress. Staying happy and healthy is an effective way to let the treatment work.