Pelvic pain can happen between the belly button and the hips and groin. Chronic pelvic pain is pain that lasts for 6 months or more. It is often hard to locate the source of the pain. Problems in the intestines, nerves, bladder, and prostate can cause pelvic pain.
Many health problems can cause chronic pelvic pain:
Alcohol or drug abuse may raise your risk of chronic pelvic pain.
Symptoms may include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You may be asked to keep a pain diary. Write down when your pain happens, how it feels, and how long it lasts.
Your body's fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
Images of your body may need to be taken. This can be done with:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. This may include:
Chronic pelvic pain is treated based on what caused it:
The following have been used to treat pelvic pain:
In some cases, interventional approaches, including nerve blocks, may be used.
Managing stress through counseling is a helpful way to cope with chronic pelvic pain.
There are many causes of pelvic pain. Some are treated with surgery. The type of surgery depends on the problem you are having.
Preventing chronic pelvic pain depends on what is causing it. Some causes are not preventable.
STIs cause many conditions that result in chronic pelvic pain. Use latex condoms every time you have sex. Multiple sex partners can increase your risk of STIs.
You may also be able to lower your risk of chronic pelvic pain through exercise. If allowed by your doctor, exercise for at least 30 minutes, 4 days a week.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
The International Pelvic Pain Society
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Chronic pelvic pain. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/chronic-pelvic-pain.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed June 21, 2016.
Chronic pelvic pain. The International Pelvic Pain Society website. Available at: http://www.pelvicpain.org/docs/patients/Patient-Education-Brochure.aspx. Accessed June 21, 2016.
Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115325/Chronic-prostatitis-Chronic-p...ic-pain-syndrome. Updated February 29, 2016. Accessed September 29, 2016.
Levy BS. The complex nature of chronic pelvic pain. J Fam Pract. 2007 Mar;56(3 Suppl Diagnosis):S16-17.
Reiter RC. Evidence-based management of chronic pelvic pain. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 1998;41(2):422-435.
5/18/2015 DynaMed Plus Systematic Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115325/Chronic-prostatitis-Chronic-p...ic-pain-syndrome: Zhang R, Chomistek AK, et al. Physical activity and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015 Apr;47(4):757-764.
Last reviewed June 2016 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.