Pelvic pain can be broken up into two categories: acute, like pain in the pelvis related to pregnancy, or that you might get after a fall; and chronic. ‘Chronic’ pelvic pain is having felt pain in structures of the abdomen or pelvis lasting at least three to six months. It can come and go, or can be there all the time. At Prairie Pelvic Health, we don’t really like the term ‘chronic’ because that can make you think that these symptoms are permanent. In fact, pelvic pain is treatable.
Pelvic pain occurs more often in women than in men and may have many contributing factors, including interactions between the digestive, bladder, sexual, muscular and nervous systems. We also know that our emotional well-being and social and cultural factors have roles to play in pelvic pain.
Pelvic pain may:
- Be constant or may come and go
- Be sharp or cramping
- Be dull or aching
- Feel like pressure
- Vary in intensity: from mild to disabling
Pelvic pain can be felt in many places:
- Pelvic girdle pain (tailbone, sacroiliac joint or pubic symphysis pain)
- Pain that interferes with sitting and exercise
- Pain that radiates to the abdomen, buttocks and/or thighs
- Pain in the rectum or bladder
- Pain during or after penetrative sex
- In women: vulvar, vaginal or perineal pain
- In men: penile, scrotal or perineal pain