Pelvic Pain: Symptoms & Signs

  • 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.

Medically Reviewed on 10/11/2018

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.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/11/2018

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