According to the American College of Ob/Gyns, chronic pelvic pain affects up to 20% of the female population. Chronic pelvic pain is defined as pain below the umbilicus (belly button) more than one year. If you are one of the millions who suffer, there could be many causes, and your gynecologist may be able to help. Of course, this list is not exhaustive, but here are some of the most common:
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Pelvic Floor Trigger Points
The ways to investigate this type of pain depends on many factors, such as the location of your symptoms, timing, and other associated factors. Usually, medicine or surgery can provide an effective outlet for your symptoms and treat the underlying cause. However, if traditional medicine does not reveal an answer, alternative methods such as pelvic floor physical therapy and acupuncture may help to alleviate your pain.
The key is to be open and honest with your health care provider, ask the tough questions, so you can work together to find the right answers!