Pelvic Pain in Women and Men

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

Early Symptoms of Appendicitis

The main early symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain. The pain is so difficult to pinpoint that when asked to point to the area of the pain, most people indicate the location of the pain with a circular motion of their hand around the central part of their abdomen. Other common symptoms of appendicitis include

  • loss of appetite,
  • nausea, and
  • vomiting.

Facts about pelvic pain

  • There are a number of different causes of pelvic pain. Some are specific to women or men, while others can occur in anyone.
  • Pelvic pain in pregnancy can be due to an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, preterm labor, or other conditions.
  • Causes of pelvic pain in women and men can include kidney stones, urinary tract infections, intestinal conditions like inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) or bowel obstruction, or fracture of the bones of the pelvis.
  • Symptoms of pelvic pain can occur along with other symptoms, depending upon the exact cause. Associated symptoms can include low back pain, vaginal or urethral bleeding or discharge, fever, and pain during sex.
  • Endometriosis is a common cause of pelvic pain in women that can cause heavy menstrual bleeding as well as pain during or after sex.
  • The diagnosis of pelvic pain involves laboratory studies as well as imaging tests like ultrasound, CT, X-ray, or MRI.
  • Treatment for and the prognosis of pelvic pain depends upon the exact cause.

What is the pelvis?

Technically, the pelvis refers to the bones of the hip that rest on the legs and support the spine. It also can refer to the cavity inside these bones, the lower portion of the trunk of the body.

What is pelvic pain?

Pelvic pain is typically considered to be pain in the lower front of the abdomen, below the umbilicus (belly button). Pelvic pain sometimes arises due to problems with the female reproductive organs, but pelvic pain can occur in both men and women due to other causes.

Pelvic pain can arise due to both acute and chronic problems. Acute pelvic pain is new pain that you have not experienced before. Chronic pain is pain that persists over time. In the pelvis, acute pain is more common than chronic pain.

Pelvic pain can have a number of different causes. Some of the most common causes will be discussed in this article.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/7/2016

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