Managing Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is any pain you experience below your belly button and can be as a result of muscle pains, infection or chronic issues. When a person experiences chronic pain (more than 6 months) it is recommended that they see a doctor.

There are many types of pains and areas that the pain may arise, as well as reasons for the pain. Here are a few common reasons for pelvic pain, as well as when you should be concerned about pelvic pain.

Possible reasons for pelvic pain

Period pain

A fairly common pain is the muscle cramps that come with the menstrual cycle. The contraction of the uterus can feel like cramping and heaviness in the pelvic area, lower back and stomach. While it is common for muscle contractions to lead to uncomfortable period pain, if the pain lasts longer than the first couple of days of menstruation, or if medication like Naprogesic does not help, it may be as a result of something more serious, like endometriosis.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis affects women’s reproductive organs as well as lead to intense pelvic pain. The cells found in the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) will grow in other parts of the body outside the uterus – such as the bladder, ovaries or bowel. The lining will go through the same cycle as the cells in the uterus, however, they do not have anywhere to go, and this can lead to pelvic pain, scarring and inflammation. Pain can occur before or after sex, just before your period as well as during your period. If you experience these symptoms you should speak to your doctor.

Adenomyosis

This condition is similar to endometriosis in that it produces cells outside of the lining but instead, cells form within the muscles of the uterus. Symptoms and pain are very similar to endometriosis.

Pelvic muscle pain

This pain comes from muscles in the pelvic and pelvic area that can lead to similar cramping pains as period pain. It may also show as shooting pains up your vagina and/or rectum, or pain during sex, pain inserting tampons or pain after core exercises like sit-ups and crunches. Pilates and pelvic muscle stretches can help the pain.

Bladder pain & UTIs

UTIs are very common in women, and over 50% of women will likely get a UTI in their lifetime. Interstitial cystitis can also lead to pelvic pain – however, will be a different pain to UTI pain. Needing to urinate over 8 times day, pain with a full bladder or sense of urgency to urinate, as well as general pain when you do urinate. UTIs require antibiotics to remove the infection.

When should I be concerned about pelvic pain?

If you recognise any abnormal pains outside of mild period pain, you should speak to your doctor. If you feel your doctor is not listening to you, you can also seek a second opinion. With conditions like endometriosis however you might not experience pain, and it’s recommended that you have regular check-ups with your gynaecologist.

Call 1300 851 968 to discuss concerns with pelvic pain.

OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care

Condous performs Advanced Endosurgery procedures for women needing intervention for pelvic masses, adnexal pathology, severe endometriosis or hysterectomy. He also runs ‘Hands on’ Live Sheep Laparoscopic Workshops for gynaecologists at Camden Veterinarian School.
Having completed an undergraduate degree with the University of Adelaide, he left Australia in 1993 and moved to London where he completed his training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. From 2001 to 2003 Condous worked as a Senior Research Fellow at St George’s Hospital, London. At St George’s he set up the Acute Gynaecology Unit, the first in the United Kingdom. It was also during this time that he developed an interest in Early Pregnancy and especially the management of pregnancies of unknown location (PULs). Condous has developed many mathematical models for the prediction of outcome of PULs which have been featured in numerous peer review journals. In 2005, he returned to Australia where he completed his Laparoscopic Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Reproductive Endosurgery, Royal North Shore, Sydney.

Condous was appointed as a Consultant Gynaecologist and Senior Lecturer at Nepean Hospital in 2006 and soon was made Associate Professor. In 2010, he was made Departmental Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Nepean Hospital. He obtained the MRCOG in 1999 and was made FRANZCOG in 2005. In 2009, he was awarded his Doctorate in Medicine (MD), University of London, for his thesis entitled: “The management of pregnancies of unknown location and the development of new mathematical models to predict outcome”.

Condous has edited three books including the “Handbook of Early Pregnancy Care”, published over 100 papers in international journals and is internationally renowned for his work in Early Pregnancy. He is the Associate Editor for Gynaecologic Obstetric Investigation, which is a European based journal, as well as the Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine (AJUM). He is on the organising committee and is an invited speaker at the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) Scientific meeting in Sydney 2013. His current research interests relate to the management of ectopic pregnancy, 1st trimester growth, PULs and miscarriage and the use of transvaginal ultrasound (in particular sonovaginography, to predict posterior compartment deep infiltrating rectovaginal endometriosis).Condous is also actively involved with post-graduate education including the annual running of the Early Pregnancy and Gynaecological Ultrasound Interactive Courses for Sonologists, Radiologists, Sonographers and Gynaecologists in Australia.