Chronic pelvic pain is pain in your pelvic region (the area below your belly button and above your hips) that lasts for at least 6 months. The pain may be steady or it may come and go. It can feel like a dull ache, or it can be sharp. The pain may be mild, or it may be bad enough to interfere with normal daily activities.
Some of the more common causes of chronic pelvic pain include:
Your doctor will ask you questions about your past and present health, and about illness or health-related problems in your family. You may be asked to describe the kind of pain you have, where it is and how strong it is. Tell your doctor anything you can about what causes the pain to get better or worse.
Your doctor may also want to perform some tests to help make the diagnosis.
A number of tests can help your doctor find the cause of your pain. Your history and physical exam will help him or her decide which, if any, tests to do. These may include blood tests, urologic tests or X-rays. In some cases, your doctor may need to perform minor surgery, such as laparoscopy (a procedure in which a thin lighted tube is inserted in the abdomen so the doctor can look at your pelvic organs).
Treatment depends on your individual problem. Your doctor will help you determine which form of treatment is right for you. Some treatment options include:
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff