Pelvic Pain Specialist in Houston, TX
Both acute and chronic pelvic pain can have serious underlying medical causes, and being evaluated early is the key to optimal results. Northwest Women’s Center uses state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques to determine the cause of pelvic pain in women from throughout Houston, TX, so they can receive the best care for their needs.
Pelvic Pain Q & A
Some of the most common causes of pelvic pain, aside from normal menstruation and ovulation, include:
- endometriosis, a condition that occurs when the uterine lining tissue (endometrium) grows outside the uterus
- ectopic pregnancy
- ovarian, uterine or cervical cancer
- pelvic floor disorders and pelvic organ prolapse
Because so many issues can cause or contribute to pelvic pain, a thorough exam is the best way to ensure the most appropriate treatment is provided for long-term relief of symptoms and to avoid potential complications.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the reproductive organs and tissues that can affect any area of the reproductive tract and can spread from one area to another. PID is usually caused by an STD, and mild forms may be treated with antibiotics. More advanced infections that develop abscesses may require surgery to remove the abscesses to prevent scarring. Very severe infections may require a hysterectomy or oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries) to remove damaged organs that cannot be repaired and to prevent spread of the infection. Infections can cause extensive scarring, and PID is a very common cause of infertility in the U.S.
The diagnosis of pelvic pain begins with a pelvic exam, as well as a review of the patient’s medical history and symptoms. Ultrasounds or in some cases MRI or CT scans may be ordered along with blood tests and urinalysis to confirm an infection and determine the pathogen (germ) that’s causing the infection so treatment can be targeted at that germ. Minimally-invasive exams like hysteroscopy may also be ordered to look inside the uterus and to examine the fallopian tubes.
Although pelvic pain can be difficult to deal with, there are ways you can prevent it from occurring. Taking over-the-counter pain conditions, such as ibuprofen, is a common yet effective method to prevent pelvic pain. Exercising is another way to prevent pelvic pain, as it increases your blood flow and strengthens your pelvic floor. A strong core alleviates lower back pain, which in turn helps to reduce undue stress on your hips. When your posture and mobility improve, it may also reduce some types of pelvic pain.
Pelvic pain can be treated through a variety of methods, but which one you need depends on how severe your condition is.
Below is a short list of possible treatments for pelvic pain:
- Medication, such as pain relievers, muscle relaxers, and antibiotics.
- Hormone treatments.
- Physical therapy.
- Neuromodulation, which is when the spinal cord is stimulated.
- Trigger point injection
Pelvic pain is typically diagnosed through a physical exam. This exam usually involves a few tests, such as getting blood work or a urine sample. Another way doctors can diagnose pelvic pain is by pelvic ultrasound. A pelvic ultrasound is a non-invasive exam that creates images of a woman’s pelvis. It provides doctors with a clearer view of a woman’s reproductive organs, so they can better assess the problem. It can help rule out fibroids and other causes of pelvic pain, such as endometriosis.
While pelvic pain itself does not cause reproductive problems, it can definitely be a symptom of a condition that does affect fertility. Pelvic pain can be a symptom of endometriosis, a condition where tissue grows outside of the uterus. Another condition where pelvic pain is a common symptom is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
PID is when one or more of the reproductive organs, such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries are infected. This can occur when bacteria spreads up from the vagina to the reproductive organs. PID is typically caused by a sexually transmitted disease (STI), like chlamydia.
What our patients have to say
"I am a former employee as well as a current patient…NWWC is an amazing OBGYN center. ALL of the doctors are well educated and are very caring, as well as the Nurse Practitioner, Judye Greer. I have had 3 surgeries through this practice and each one has been a success, I would recommend this place to anyone searching for a good OBGYN!!!" - Karen O.
Pelvic Pain Treatment
Treatment depends on the underlying cause of pain and can include:
- hormone therapy
- physical therapy
Some patients respond to certain types of antidepressant medications. When the cause of pelvic pain cannot be determined, treatment will focus on the long-term relief of symptoms so patients can enjoy an improved quality of life.