Chronic pelvic pain, which occurs commonly in women, refers to long-lasting pain in the lower abdomen between the belly button and the pelvis, which lasts longer than 6 months. Persisting pain has a number of causes, including problems within the reproductive system, previous surgery, inflammation, tension and environmental stress.
Chronic Pelvic Pain Symptoms and Diagnosis
In order to diagnose the specific cause of your pelvic pain, a physician will perform a routine pelvic exam. They may also request an ultrasound and other image testing (MRI, CT) to get a better visual, and swab the cervix and vagina to find any possible infections. Causes of chronic pelvic pain may be diagnosed as:
Your physician may also suggest a laparoscopy, a surgical procedure that feeds a small tube with a camera into an incision in the belly.
Depending on the cause, chronic pelvic pain may be dull, intermittent or sharp and severe. Other common symptoms include:
- Cramping (becomes severe for women during their periods)
- Pressure in the pelvis
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain during urination or bowel movements
- Changes in mood, such as depression
Treatment Options for Chronic Pelvic Pain
The goal of our interventional radiologists is to find the source of your discomfort and use one of our minimally invasive procedures to relieve these symptoms and improve your quality of life. You will be under heavy sedation during the procedure, an alternative to general anesthesia which reduces side effects. A small incision will be made and a small tube will be used to decrease blood supply to the affected area, relieving you of your discomfort. Our procedures drastically reduce the time needed for recovery from 6 to 8 weeks (when done through surgery) to only a few days. We also perform embolization specifically for men suffering from chronic testicular pain, using a catheter to reduce the size of enlarged veins in the groin.
Our interventional radiology team uses advanced techniques to treat chronicpelvic pain including:
For More Information
To schedule an appointment with one of our interventional radiologists, please call 847.570.2160.