Chronic pelvic pain can be extremely frustrating, because for a lot of women it can be a challenge to find what is causing her symptoms. Some studies show that 20 percent of women don’t receive diagnostic testing despite their pain.
Whether you are experiencing pelvic cramps, pelvic pain during sex, chronic pubic bone pain or the pain in your lower abdomen that radiates down to your thighs, buttocks and lower back, you need to seek treatment quickly.
It’s nearly impossible for a woman to self-diagnose and find the reason for her pelvic pain, because other common symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding frequently go together with pelvic pain and can lead to more complications if left untreated. Your gynecologist’s goal is of course to pinpoint the source of your pain, which usually can be traced to a single source, such as your:
- Digestive system
- Reproductive system
- Urinary tract
- Musculoskeletal system
Symptoms Vary Widely
Depending on the cause and the source of your pain, you may feel symptoms at first that you don’t even think stem from pelvic pain or the more common women’s health issues. These symptoms include:
- Constant or intermittent pain
- Pain that’s localized in one place
- Radiating pain that goes down your legs
- Sharp or acute pain
- Dull pain
- Sudden pain
- Chronic pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks
- Pain that’s more apparent during certain activities
Women experience pelvic pain in several different ways, so your Forest Hills, New York doctor needs to know exactly when it’s worst. He’ll ask if you experience:
- Pelvic pain after sex
- Pelvic pain during sex
- Pelvic pain during pregnancy
- Pubic bone pain
- Any sharp pain in vaginal area
- Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
- Pelvic cramps
Lower left abdominal pain in women often is due to ovulation and very often goes away by itself in a day or two, but if the pain lingers, call a top OB/GYN in Queens, NYC for a precise diagnosis. Pain on your right side, however, may be due to appendicitis, which constitutes an immediate emergency situation.
Finding the Cause of Your Pelvic Pain
The location of your pain and the severity of your discomfort —along with various tests performed during a pelvic exam — help your pelvic pain specialist discover the source of your pain. Gynecological issues that lead to lower pelvic pain and sharp pain in vaginal areas include:
- Infections, such as a yeast infection, a sexually transmitted disease or vaginitis
- A tumor that may or may not be malignant
- Cysts or fibroids
- Ectopic pregnancy, sometimes the cause of pelvic pain during pregnancy
- Pelvic cramps, usually the reason for pain during menstruation
- Endometriosis, which happens when uterine wall cells start to grow outside your uterus and leads to a sharp pain in vaginal area
Other conditions that aren’t always associated with gynecology, but may be sources of pelvic pain include:
- IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome
- Muscle spasms
- Constipation that’s chronic
- Sexual abuse
Pubic bone pain most often is caused by some kind of physical trauma, sometimes ubiquitous among cyclists and other athletes. Causes of pelvic pain after menopause usually include fibroids — benign pelvic tumors. Pelvic pain after menopause also could be due to IBS, colitis, or diverticular disease.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome in women occurs somewhere just below your navel between the hips. It’s pain that has lasted for at least six months. The condition can be due to another illness or be pain that stands alone. When treating related conditions doesn’t give you relief, your Forest Hills/Rego Park, Queens gynecologist may seek ways, through pain medications, to help reduce your discomfort.
When Is Pelvic Pain Serious?
Your gynecologist is the only person who can answer this question for you. You may be under the impression, for example, that pelvic pain during pregnancy is normal, when in fact the reason for your symptoms could be an ectopic pregnancy which is a very serious condition that can be life-threatening.
Pelvic cramps during menstruation are normal to some degree, but severe cramps can signal a more serious condition, like uterine fibroids or adenomyosis. Pelvic pain without menstruation or bleeding can have so many different causes that you must seek expert advice to ensure that you are not overlooking any serious conditions.
Getting to the Bottom of Pelvic Pain
Your Queens, New York City gynecologist will conduct a physical exam to try to pinpoint the source of your unusual pelvic pain. This allows him to determine which of your body’s systems most likely is involved. Blood tests, a urinalysis, pap smear and pregnancy test are routine.
When other tests still are needed to find a precise diagnosis, you may undergo a:
- Laparoscopy, a minor surgery, during which your doctor makes a tiny incision and inserts a light and lens to inspect your abdominal area for unusual growths
- Ultrasound relies on sound waves to give your doctor an image
- MRI provides three-dimensional images
- CT scan is a more in-depth type of X-ray
- Colonoscopy, a test to inspect your colon
How to Treat Pelvic Pain
Medications often are the first line of defense for treating your pain. You may need antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medicine, oral contraceptives or pain pills for a short period of time. If it is determined that surgery is the best course of action, you want to have the best gynecologist in Queens on your side.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome, also called CPPS, seldom responds to treatment. It requires other options such as stress relief, relaxation techniques and physical therapy. Additionally, dietary changes may be recommended by your pelvic pain specialist to help overcome pelvic pain that has no direct source. Environmental changes, discontinuing activities that cause you the most pain and modifications in activities also may help alleviate pelvic pain that doesn’t respond to conventional treatments.
If your pelvic pain specialist determines that the cause of your pelvic pain comes from another body system, such as in your stomach or muscles, you may be referred to a specialist in that area for treatment. If you experience pelvic pain or pelvic cramps, consult a gynecologist in Queens, NYC. Your search for treatment starts with an exam.
Forest Hills Medical Services is a comprehensive clinical practice. We believe that how you are treated at our office is just as important as the medical care you receive. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality obstetrics and gynecology with warmth and compassion. Our physicians are easy to talk to and our entire staff is friendly and attentive to your needs. We do our best to make a positive, long-term impact on our patients’ lives through preventive care and education.
The best gynecologists in Queens who are part of the Forest Hills Medical Services team are renowned for their extensive skills in diagnosing and treating all possible conditions that can lead to pelvic pain. We will listen to all your concerns and together we will come up with the treatment plan that works for you and your unique circumstances.
Call FHMS to meet our staff in our state-of-the-art offices and be heard.
Gynecologists Dr. James Gohar (OBGYN Doctor), Dr Nithya Gopal and Maris Huffman, NP
Forest Hills Medical Services
108-16 63rd Rd
Forest Hills, NY 11375
☎ (718) 897-5331