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Home > Services > Women's Health > Gynecology > Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is located between the belly button and the hips and groin. If it lasts for six months or more, it is called chronic pelvic pain.

Many chronic conditions or injuries can cause pelvic pain:

  • Gynecological conditions, such as:
  • Gastrointestinal conditions, such as:
    • Diverticulitis
    • Irritable bowel syndrome
    • Constipation
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Cancer
    • Ulcerative colitis
  • Urinary conditions, such as a bladder infection or urinary tract infection
  • Miscarriage
  • Cesarean section or pelvic surgery
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Injuries to muscles, nerves, hips or back

Psychological conditions, such as depression, can also cause or increase pain.

Symptoms of Pelvic Pain

Pain can vary significantly from person to person and may include:

  • Constant pain or dull ache in the pelvic area
  • Burning, shooting pain
  • Rectal urgency
  • Pain that comes and goes
  • Pain that ranges from mild to severe
  • Pain with certain activities
  • Pain with prolonged sitting

Diagnosis & Treatment

Tests may include:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • X-rays 
  • Ultrasound
  • Minimally invasive surgeries to examine the area

Your doctor may ask to you keep a pain journal, which tracts how often you feel pain and its severity. 


Options may include:

  • Prescription pain medication may help severe pain
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help manage pain and reduce inflammation
  • Hormones for pain related to the reproductive system
  • Antidepressants and anti-seizure medications to help manage certain types of chronic pain

You may need a nerve block for severe pain that interferes with daily activity.

Complementary Therapies

Therapies that may help manage pain include:

  • Relaxation therapy — tension can increase the sensation of pain
  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback — retrain how your body reacts to pain

Psychological Counseling   

Stress and tension may increase or cause chronic pain. Psychological counseling can help you form healthy thought patterns and teach you relaxation and coping strategies. 

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Call 434.243.3675.

Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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