In the first instance, when pain occurs, a pregnancy must be excluded.
There can be several causes for acute or chronic pelvic pain in a nonpregnant woman. Fortunately we are able to help you with most causes. A thorough history and examination is paramount to finding out the cause. You may then also require further medical imaging and blood tests so that we can determine the cause and urgency of care.
Ovarian cysts can cause pain. The majority of cysts in the pre-menopausal woman are benign and may resolve spontaneously. If they are persistent or if there are features that suggest it is anything other than a simple cyst, we can counsel you regarding further surgical treatment. This is usually done by ‘key-hole’ minimally invasive surgery which offers a decreased recovery time. If you are postmenopausal and have a cyst with abnormal features, you would need a blood test and depending on this test we can discuss its removal.
Other causes of pain are infection such as Pelvic inflammatory Disease (PID), endometritis (infection of the womb), a urinary tract infection, or gastroenteritis. We can manage you with the appropriate antibiotics depending on the source of infection. Sometimes a laparoscopy may be required to improve your symptoms if they fail to improve with a more conservative approach.
Endometriosis is also a common cause of pelvic pain. Endometriosis is defined as the presence of endometrial glands (ie those that line the uterus) elsewhere in the body. Endometriosis is a common, benign, chronic, oestrogen-dependent disorder. It can cause pain that is either acute or chronic in nature depending on your stage of menstrual cycle, or where the lesions are located through local irritation. It can be associated with many distressing and debilitating symptoms, such as pelvic pain, severe dysmenorrhea (painful periods), dyspareunia (pain with intercourse) and infertility, or it may be asymptomatic, and incidentally discovered at laparoscopy.
- When endometriosis occurs on the ovaries, it has a tendency to form an ovarian cyst. These are known as endometriomas, or commonly referred to as chocolate cysts. .