Pain in the pelvic area can come from conditions affecting a variety of organs. These organs include the bladder and rectum in both men and women as well as the uterus, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes in women. Occasionally, pain may be felt in the pelvis even though it is arising from other organs near the pelvis, such as the intestines. Pelvic pain can be acute and sudden in onset, or the pain can be chronic and longstanding, depending on the specific cause. The characteristics of the pain -- location, timing, duration, etc., are important in diagnosing its cause along with any associated symptoms such as vaginal discharge or bleeding. Some types of pelvic pain may only be apparent at certain times, such as during sexual activity or during urination. Persisting pelvic pain should be evaluated by a physician.
Pelvic pain may arise due to infections, trauma, tumors, or conditions affecting the muscles and nerves of the pelvis.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Endometriosis Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition. Take this quiz to learn what happens when a woman has endometriosis as well as...
Endometriosis Symptoms, Stages, Treatment
What is endometriosis? Endometriosis is an abnormal growth of endometrial cells like those found in a woman's uterus. Learn about...
Ovarian Cyst Symptoms, Types, and Treatment
What is an ovarian cyst? Ovarian cyst types vary, and they can cause many symptoms, including abdominal pain. Learn about ovarian...
Pelvic Pain: What's Causing Your Pelvic Pain?
There are many causes of pelvic pain in women including cysts, PMS, appendicitis, and bladder infections. Pelvic pain has...
Picture of Tubal Pregnancy
A pregnancy that is not in the usual place within the uterus but is located in the Fallopian tube. See a picture of Tubal...
What Are Uterine Fibroids? Symptoms, Treatment, Pictures
What are uterine fibroids? Who gets uterine fibroids, and how can you prevent them? Learn about uterine fibroid treatments, from...
Causes of Pelvic Pain
Abdominal Adhesions (Scar Tissue)
Abdominal adhesions (scar tissue) bands of scar tissue that form between abdominal organs and tissues. Symptoms of abdominal...
Anal cancer, cancer located at the end of the large intestine, has symptoms that include anal or rectal bleeding, anal pain or...
Appendicitis (Symptoms, Treatments, and Surgery)
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix. Appendicitis often causes sings and symptoms such as: Abdominal pain in...
Treatment for bladder cancer depends on the stage of the disease, the grade of the tumor, and the type of bladder cancer. Options...
Bladder Infection (Cystitis)
Bladder infection is an infection of the bladder, usually caused by bacteria or, rarely, by Candida. Certain people, including...
Cervical cancer is cancer of the entrance to the womb (uterus). Regular pelvic exams and Pap testing can detect precancerous...
Colon cancer is a malignancy that arises from the inner lining of the colon. Most, if not all, of these cancers develop from...
Constipation (Relief, Home Remedies, Treatment Medications)
Constipation is defined medically as fewer than three stools per week and severe constipation as less than one stool per week....
Crohn's Disease (Symptoms, Causes, Diet, Treatment, Life Expectancy)
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, primarily involving the small and large intestine, but which can affect...
Diverticulitis (Diverticulosis, Diverticular Disease)
Most people with diverticulosis have few if any symptoms at all. When people do experience signs and symptoms of diverticulosis...
Ectopic Pregnancy (Symptoms, Signs, Treatment)
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy located outside the inner lining of the uterus. The majority of ectopic pregnancies occur in...
Endometriosis (Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, and Prognosis)
Endometriosis implants are most commonly found on the ovaries, the Fallopian tubes, outer surfaces of the uterus or intestines,...
Gonorrhea In Women
Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection transmitted during sexual contact. In women, symptoms include a yellow vaginal discharge,...
A hernia occurs when an organ or piece of tissue protrudes from the space in which it is normally contained. Symptoms of a hernia...
Is Chlamydia Contagious? (Symptoms and Transmission)
Chlamydia is a sexually tranmistted disease (STD) that is contagious. Chlaymida is spread through sexual contact (You cannot get...
Kidney stones are solid masses of crystalline material that form in the kidneys. Symptoms of kidney stones can include pain,...
Menstrual cramps (pain in the belly and pelvic area) are experienced by women as a result of menses. Menstrual cramps are not the...
Miscarriage is the medical term for the spontaneous loss of pregnancy from conception to 20 weeks gestation. Risk factors for a...
There are many types of ovarian cancer, epithelial carcinoma is the most common. Women with a family history of ovarian cancer...
Ovarian Cysts (Causes, Signs, Symptoms, Treatment)
Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled, sac-like structures within an ovary. Symptoms of an ovarian cysts may be: Pain in the belly...
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is the most common and serious complication of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), aside from...
Peritonitis is a bacterial infection inside of the abdomen. Some doctors choose to group the causes of peritonitis into five...
Pregnancy (Week By Week, Trimesters)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but...
Prostatitis (Inflammation of the Prostate Gland)
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland. Signs and symptoms of prostatitis include painful or difficulty urinating,...
Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Pregnancy (STDs)
When you are pregnant, many sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be especially harmful to you and your baby. These STDs...
Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Women (STD)
Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are infections that are transmitted during any type of sexual exposure, including...
Syphilis in Women
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a spiral-shaped type of bacteria known as a spirochete. There are...
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation of the colon. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding....
A urethral stricture, or narrowing of the urethra, may cause decreased urine output. Symptoms include painful urination, urinary...
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection of the bladder, kidneys, ureters, or urethra. E. coli, a type of bacteria that...
Urinary Tract Infections in Children
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common in children. Symptoms and signs include fever and abdominal pain. Associated...
Though uterine cancer's cause is unknown, there are many factors that will put a woman at risk, including being over age 50,...
Uterine Fibroids (Benign Tumors of the Uterus)
Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors in the womb (uterus). Most uterine fibroids do not cause symptoms; however, if...
Benign uterine growths are tissue enlargements of the female womb (uterus). Three types of benign uterine growths are uterine...
Vulvodynia (Vaginal Pain)
Vulvodynia or vaginal pain, genital pain is a condition in which women have chronic vulvar pain with no known cause. There are...
Other Causes of Pelvic Pain
- Ovarian Abscess
- Rectal Cancer
- Tubal Abscess
Examples of Medications for Pelvic Pain
- clindamycin - injection, Cleocin
- doxycycline (Vibramycin, Oracea, Adoxa, Atridox, Acticlate, Acticlate Cap, Doryx, Doxteric, Doxy)
- gentamicin injection (Garamycin)
- gentamicin, topical (Garamycin has been discontinued)
- metronidazole (Flagyl, Flagyl ER) Antibiotic
- metronidazole cream, Noritate, Metrocream
- Metronidazole: Topical (Metrogel, Metrocream, Metrogel Vaginal, and Others)
- topical clindamycin (Cleocin T, Clindagel, ClindaDerm, Clindets, Evoclin)
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter