Pelvic Pain: Causes & Risk Factors | Tampa General Hospital

Pelvic Pain  

Pelvic pain—or pain around the lower abdomen—can affect women as well as men. Pelvic pain describes discomfort that occurs in the lower abdominal area. It primarily affects women, although it may also occur in men.  

Pelvic Pain Causes    

Pelvic pain is linked to a wide array of medical conditions. For women, pelvic pain can result from:  

  • Ectopic pregnancy 
  • Endometriosis  
  • Fibroids  
  • Menstruation  
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Ovarian cysts  
  • Ovulation pain  
  • Miscarriage  
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)  

Some conditions that can cause pelvic pain affect men as well as women. These include:  

  • Appendicitis  
  • Colorectal cancer   
  • Fibromyalgia   
  • Inguinal hernia 
  • Interstitial cystitis  
  • Pelvic bone fractures 
  • Pelvic floor muscle spasms  
  • Sexually transmitted infection (STI or STD) 
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)  

Another possible cause of pelvic pain in men is prostatitis, a condition in which the prostate gland becomes swollen and inflamed. In addition to pelvic pain, men with prostatitis may experience painful urination and flu-like symptoms.    

Mild pelvic pain is a natural result of having a menstrual period or going through ovulation. However, it’s important to promptly consult with a medical professional if your discomfort:  

  • Is severe 
  • Progressively worsens 
  • Interferes with daily activities 
  • Does not have an obvious cause  

Pelvic Pain Symptoms   

Pelvic pain is a symptom in and of itself, but there are many other symptoms that can occur alongside pelvic pain depending on its cause. For example, some people who have pelvic pain also experience:  

  • Painful menstrual periods  
  • Bleeding in between periods  
  • Frequent bloating or gas  
  • Pain during sexual intercourse  
  • Diarrhea or constipation  
  • Painful urination   
  • Pain around the hip or groin area  

Pelvic Pain Diagnosis

There are several methods a physician may use to diagnose the underlying cause of pelvic pain. Depending on your gender, symptoms, age and other factors, one or more of the following tests may be recommended:  

  • Urinalysis  
  • Blood testing 
  • Pelvic or abdominal X-ray imaging 
  • Ultrasound imaging  
  • Vaginal or penile culture  
  • Laparoscopy  
  • Hysteroscopy  

Pelvic Pain Treatments  

Tampa General Hospital’s multidisciplinary team includes experts who specialize in treating the underlying causes of pelvic pain in women and men. Treatment options vary significantly according to each patient’s diagnosis, but may include:  

  • Medication to clear infections or reduce pain
  • Birth control pills to ease menstrual cramps  
  • Surgery to remove cysts, fibroids, tumors and other growths 
  • Physical therapy to relax tensed or strained pelvic floor muscles