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Most Common Causes of Pelvic Pain

How you experience pelvic pain helps the doctors at Capital Women’s Care diagnose the root cause. We’ll look for many of the

Pelvic pain refers to any pain in the lower part of your belly — between your navel and vagina. Usually, it’s due to organs in this area responsible for reproduction, digestion, or urination. The pain may feel intense or dull, stay concentrated or radiate. Pelvic pain may come and go or hang around. You may only experience it during certain times of the month or when you have sex or urinate.

How you experience pelvic pain helps the doctors at Capital Women’s Care diagnose the root cause. We’ll look for many of the most common causes first. Learn more about what these are.


Endometriosis describes a condition in which the uterine lining tissue grows outside of the uterus on other surrounding organs. The tissue can be painful, especially around the time of your period. But your exact symptoms depend on where the excess tissue implants. You may have periodic pain (during menstruation) or at other times during your cycle.


Fibroids are benign growths that form in the uterus and are incredibly common. Many women don’t know they have them, but some women experience serious pain in the pelvis and lower back. They may also put pressure on the bladder.

Ovulation pain

Ovulation pain is harmless, but it can cause cramping in the middle weeks of your menstrual cycle. You may feel sharp, sudden pain or have longer-lasting, aching cramps. Ovulation pain is irritating, but not a sign of problems.

Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease can arise due to an infection from a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It describes a chronic infection in the reproductive organs that causes low back pain, pelvic pain, and irregular vaginal discharge.

Sexually transmitted infections

Sexually transmitted infections don’t always cause symptoms, but ones like chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause pelvic pain. If you’re sexually active and not in a mutually monogamous relationship, ask to be regularly tested for STIs.

Scar tissue

If you have a prior infection or surgical procedure, it can cause scar tissue, or adhesions, to form in the pelvis. These can result in chronic pelvic pain that can be difficult to treat.

Ovarian cysts

Cysts can form on the ovaries and harmlessly come and go. But if one should rupture or cause ovarian torsion — or twisting — it can cause dull or sharp aching in the lower abdomen, on the side of the affected cyst. A ruptured cyst is a medical emergency, so call us right away if you suspect one.

Digestive disorders

The doctors at Capital Women’s Care may also rule out digestive disorders, such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) when looking for a reason for your pelvic pain.

Ectopic pregnancy

When a fertilized egg implants and grows outside the uterus, it can cause serious pain in the pelvic region. This pregnancy isn’t viable, as a fetus can only survive in the womb. Often, the ectopic pregnancy occurs in a fallopian tube, but it can sometimes happen in the ovary, cervix, or abdominal cavity. Irregular bleeding and pelvic pain are signs of this dangerous pregnancy. 

If you have pelvic pain that lasts several days, feels especially severe or doesn’t respond to home remedies, contact us at Capital Women’s Care immediately. We’ll give you a thorough evaluation and run any necessary screening tests to ensure you have nothing to worry about when it comes to your reproductive and pelvic organ health.

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