Pelvic Pain

Understanding the Causes of Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is a discomfort felt in the lower abdomen or pelvis area. It can be caused by a variety of issues, ranging from cysts and endometriosis to bladder infections and constipation. It's essential to be aware of what's causing your pelvic pain so that you can seek proper treatment. Here are some of the possible causes of pelvic pain.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that causes a variety of symptoms, including abdominal pain and cramping. An estimated 10-15% of Americans have been diagnosed with IBS, and it can lead to pain in the pelvic region. It’s especially common in women. Common triggers for IBS-related pelvic pain include stress, diet changes, food sensitivities, hormones, and different medications.


Endometriosis is a common condition in which tissue from the inner lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. This misplaced tissue can cause infection, pelvic pain, internal bleeding, and fertility problems. Women with endometriosis often experience pelvic pain before and during their periods, during intercourse, and during bowel movements.


Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that can form on the inner or outer walls of the uterus. They can range in size from the size of a pea to the size of a grapefruit. Women with fibroids may experience heavy periods, abdominal cramping, pelvic pain, frequent urination, and constipation. Fibroids may be treated with medication, surgery, or hormone therapy.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the reproductive organs. It can be caused by a variety of bacteria, including gonorrhea and chlamydia. Symptoms of PID include abdominal pain, fever, chills, unusual discharge, and pain during intercourse. Treatment typically includes antibiotics. If left untreated, PID can lead to serious complications, such as infertility and ectopic pregnancy.

Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts are sacs filled with fluid or other material that can form on or around the ovaries. They can cause a variety of symptoms, including pelvic pain, bloating, and difficulty with urination. Ovarian cysts may be treated with medication, surgery, or hormone therapy depending on the size and type of cyst.

Other Causes

In addition to the above, there are several other possible causes of pelvic pain:

  • Menstrual cramps
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Kidney infection
  • Vulvodynia
  • Injury to the pelvic area
  • Adhesions from prior surgery
  • Gallbladder disease

If you're experiencing pelvic pain, it’s important to see your doctor. Your doctor can diagnose the cause of your pelvic pain and find an appropriate treatment plan.