While almost every woman experiences some pelvic discomfort around her period, chronic or severe pelvic pain is often a sign of a more serious health issue. John H. Kirk, MD, and his team diagnose the causes of pelvic pain and offer customized treatment plans at offices in Napa, St. Helena, and Hidden Valley Lake, California. If you have pelvic pain that is interfering with your life, call Dr. Kirk or make an appointment online today.
What are the common causes of pelvic pain?
Many conditions cause pelvic pain, including:
- Ovarian cysts
- Interstitial cystitis
- Urinary tract infections
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
However, in many cases, severe pelvic pain is often due to endometriosis. Endometriosis is a reproductive health issue that occurs when endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus.
The condition usually affects the other reproductive organs like the ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, and the outside walls of the uterus. However, endometriosis can also occur on other pelvic organs like the bladder and bowel, or anywhere in a woman’s body.
Pain is the signature symptom of endometriosis. It causes severe menstrual cramping, chronic pelvic pain, pain during sex, and painful urination and bowel movements. You might also have heavy bleeding, abdominal bloating, nausea, or abnormal bowel movements.
When should I talk to a doctor about pelvic pain?
Pain is the body’s way of warning you of a problem, and you should never ignore it. While most women experience some cramping and discomfort around their period, it shouldn’t get in the way of day-to-day activities. Call Dr. Kirk if you develop new, severe pain or if you have pain that interferes with your ability to go to work, school, or social functions.
How is the cause of pelvic pain diagnosed?
Dr. Kirk diagnoses the cause of pelvic pain with a variety of tests. After reviewing your medical history and symptoms, he performs a pelvic exam. He might also order lab tests or use imaging tests like ultrasound, MRI, or hysteroscopy to identify the source of your pain. In some cases, he might suggest a laparoscopic procedure to examine the pelvic organs and look for signs of endometriosis.
Diagnosis for conditions like endometriosis is often delayed or missed. Dr. Kirk has more than 22 years of experience working with women like you to find the true cause of pelvic pain. He listens carefully to understand your symptoms and does his best to shorten the time to diagnosis.
How is pelvic pain treated?
Dr. Kirk and his team offer customized treatment plans to address the condition causing your pain and easing your symptoms. He provides a multi-modal approach with a focus on medication and non-Western therapeutic options like acupuncture.
Depending on the patient’s needs, Dr. Kirk might take a watchful waiting approach or prescribe medicine. When necessary, he offers minimally invasive and robotic-assisted surgery to remove damaged or abnormal tissue and repair the body.
Call Dr. Kirk today or make an appointment online if pelvic pain is interfering with your health and quality of life.