Can There Be More Than One Reason For Your Pain
Yes. Studies have found a good deal of overlap among pain conditions 26), 27). For instance, a woman may have endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression at the same timeeach of which may contribute to the overall pain she feels.
Having more than one pain condition can complicate diagnosis and treatment. To be effective, treatment needs to address all the conditions that are contributing to your uterus pain.
Changes In Your Reproductive System
Bladder pain in women may also be a result of thinning vaginal skin, says Karl Luber, MD, a urogynecologist and a founder of the female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery fellowship program at UCSDKaiser Permanente in San Diego.
This is called atrophy and it’s most common when menopause deprives the tissues surrounding the vagina of estrogen, he explains. Oral estrogen doesnt help, but a vaginal estrogen cream may ease symptoms.
Talking with your doctor about bladder pain and discomfort can help determine where the problem really lies, Dr. Luber says.
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Bladder Pain Urethral Pain And Interstitial Cystitis
Painful Bladder Syndrome, sometimes called Interstitial Cystitis, is a disorder of the bladder characterized by urinary frequency, frequent nighttime voiding, and bladder pain. Sufferers may feel as if they have a constant urinary tract infection, but urine cultures show no infection. The condition is also often associated with pain during intercourse.
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The Standard Uti Test Cannot Grow Most Bacteria
The standard urine culture method does not mimic the environment in the bladder. As we described above, a urine culture uses a specific medium, and specific conditions over a short frame of time.
The vast majority of all known organisms will not grow in these conditions. And many organisms that may be perfectly happy residing and multiplying in the bladder, will not grow in the environment of a culture plate.
This means the standard urine culture methods are just not able to identify all UTI-causing pathogens. The figure below shows organisms that have been identified in the bladder using expanded culture protocols. The markings can be interpreted as follows:
- Orange stars Bacteria known to be associated with UTIs or to make UTIs worse, but are not detected by SUC.
- Yellow arrows Known uropathogens that are not detected by SUC.
- Dark red arrows Organisms that SUC detects.
- Unmarked Not much is known about the unmarked organisms. Some of them might be beneficial , some benign , and some might be undiscovered uropathogens. More research is needed.
Alternative testing methods, like EQUC, PCR and NGS have been able to identify many pathogens that do not grow in a urine culture.
Urethra Pain Not A Uti What Is Causing It
The urethra is the tube through which urine is excreted from the bladder. In men, the tube is long and is located within the penis, while in women, it is shorter and is located in the pelvis. A man or woman may get urethra pain that is either sharp or dull, comes and goes, or remains constant. Most people will associate such pain with urinary tract infection. However, urethral pain may arise from other causes.
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Why Do I Have Cramps But No Period
Pelvic pain similar to a menstrual period can happen at times when no period is due or can occur because of conditions other than the monthly cycle. Sometimes it is hard to tell the exact reason for cramps that feel like a menstrual period.
The following diseases and conditions are examples of situations that can cause pain or cramps when not on your period.
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Normal Variation Of Constipation
Constipation means bowel movements which have become infrequent and/or hardened and difficult to pass.
There is wide variation in what is thought “normal” when it comes to frequency of bowel movements. Anywhere from three times a day to three times a week is considered normal.
As long as stools are easy to pass, laxatives should not be used in an effort to force the body to a more frequent schedule.
Constipation is usually caused by lack of fiber in the diet not drinking enough water insufficient exercise and often suppressing the urge to have a bowel movement.
A number of medications and remedies, especially narcotic pain relievers, can cause constipation.
Women are often affected, due to pregnancy and other hormonal changes. Young children who demand low-fiber or “junk food” diets are also susceptible.
Constipation is a condition, not a disease, and most of the time is easily corrected. If simple adjustments in diet, exercise, and bowel habits don’t help, a doctor can be consulted to rule out a more serious cause.
Top Symptoms: abdominal pain , nausea, stomach bloating, constipation, constipation
Symptoms that always occur with normal variation of constipation: constipation
Symptoms that never occur with normal variation of constipation: vomiting
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What Is Interstitial Cystitis/bladder Pain Syndrome
Interstitial cystitis /bladder pain syndrome is a chronic bladder health issue. It is a feeling of pain and pressure in the bladder area. Along with this pain are lower urinary tract symptoms which have lasted for more than 6 weeks, without having an infection or other clear causes.
Symptoms range from mild to severe. For some patients the symptoms may come and go, and for others they don’t go away. IC/BPS is not an infection, but it may feel like a bladder infection. Women with IC/BPS may feel pain when having sex. The more severe cases of IC/BPS can affect your life and your loved ones. Some people with IC/BPS have other health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and other pain syndromes.
The bladder and kidneys are part of the urinary system, the organs in our bodies that make, store, and pass urine. You have 2 kidneys that make urine. Then urine is stored in the bladder. The muscles in the lower part of your abdomen hold your bladder in place.
How the Urinary System Works
Bladder Pain & Urinary Tract Infections
UTIs, which affect over 50% of women, are another common cause of pelvic pain. Symptoms can include a burning sensation when passing wee and/or lower abdominal pain.
They may be common but if left untreated, UTIs can develop into more serious kidney infections. If your symptoms persist for more than 24 hours and include fever, chills, back pain, nausea or vomiting, see your doctor immediately.
Another bladder condition is painful bladder syndrome . Unlike a UTI, there is irritation but no infection.
Dr Manwaring suggests seeing your GP if you have troublesome bladder symptoms regularly, such as:
- needing to empty your bladder more than 8-10 times during the day
- needing to empty your bladder more than once a night
- pain with full bladder which improves with emptying
- pain with sex or intercourse
- a sense of urgency to urinate.
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When Should I Be Concerned About Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain may be serious if your symptoms developed suddenly or if the discomfort is severe. If you have pelvic pain that lasts for more than two weeks, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Pelvic pain can be concerning and because itâs a symptom of so many conditions, it can be particularly frustrating. Your healthcare provider can help determine the cause of your pelvic pain so you can receive the treatment you need to feel better.
Most Common Causes Of Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain may be caused by a variety of things. If youre having pelvic pain, you want to get to the root of the problem to gain relief. Pain in the pelvic area has numerous causes, so its important to see a specialist to diagnose the problem.
If youre located in the Princeton, West Virginia, area, youll want to seek out Dr. Brandon M. Lingenfelter if you start feeling pelvic pain. This will help you avoid complications down the line that may force you to go to the emergency room . Untreated infections and diseases can result in serious health complications.
Dr. Lingenfelter can give you more clarity about the root cause of your pelvic pain, but the following are some common causes of chronic pelvic pain.
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What Is Your Pelvic Pain Trying To Tell You
According to the World Health Organization , pelvic pain in women is incredibly common. One in six women of childbearing age have experienced pelvic pain in the past few months. It’s not a minor inconvenience. Pelvic pain can interfere with daily activities such as work and exercise, but it can also be a sign that something is wrong.
This round-up of the types of pelvic pain in women is for educational purposes only and shouldn’t be used for self-diagnosis. If you’re experiencing pelvic pain of any kind, the AMITA Health Women’s Health Institute recommends making an appointment with a gynecologist as soon as possible. But in the meantime, inform yourself by matching up the types of pelvic pain with some corollary symptoms and what they might mean.
Overactive Bladder Problems After Hysterectomy
Sometimes nerve damage or infections are the reason for an overactive bladder after surgery. This crazy, unstoppable feeling of having to go to the toilet, even if you have little or no urine in the bladder, is due to the bladders detrusor muscle malfunctioning. After a hysterectomy, overactive bladder problems include frequent visits to the bathroom, even during the night , and leaking urine.
What can you do about it?
Strengthen the pelvic muscles with Kegel exercises. Avoid substances that will irritate the bladder like coffee, alcohol, carbonated drinks, and spicy meals. Get rid of the extra pounds, as your extra weight can have a notable impact on the pelvic floor muscles that support your bladder. There are several medications that can help to relax the Detrusor muscle. Common side effects of these medications are dry mouth, constipation, and sometimes confusion.
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Other Ways To Ease Bladder Pain
Of course, if either a UTI or urinary stasis is causing your bladder pain, youll need prescription medication.
But your discomfort could be just another uncomfortable symptom of pregnancy. You may be happy to hear that there is, in fact, a beneficial tool you can use. Look for something called a maternity support belt.
This is an excellent tool to support your growing belly. It will take some of the pressure off your bladder by elevating your bump. It was something magical I discovered in my second pregnancy, and Im so glad I did.
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Complications Of Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction
Loss of bladder control is a common symptom of a pelvic floor dysfunction. Some people experience , which means they canât always control the passage of wind or faeces . Weak pelvic floor muscles can also cause sexual difficulties such as reduced vaginal sensation. If the muscles are weak but overactive this can cause painful sex or vulval pain and can also cause reduced bladder control.
In some cases, the internal organs supported by the pelvic floor, including the bladder and uterus, can slide down into the vagina. This is called a prolapse. A distinct bulge in the vagina and deep vaginal aching are common symptoms.
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Causes Of Pelvic Pain
Disorders that can cause pelvic pain include
Gynecologic disordersthose that affect the reproductive organs
Disorders that affect other organs in the pelvis, such as the bladder, lower part of the ureters, urethra, rectum, appendix, or pelvic floor
Disorders that affect structures near but outside the pelvis, such as the abdominal wall, intestine, kidneys, or upper part of the ureters
Often, it is difficult for doctors to identify what is causing pelvic pain.
Changes In Bladder Habits Or Symptoms Of Irritation
Bladder cancer can sometimes cause changes in urination, such as:
- Having to urinate more often than usual
- Pain or burning during urination
- Feeling as if you need to go right away, even when your bladder isnt full
- Having trouble urinating or having a weak urine stream
- Having to get up to urinate many times during the night
These symptoms are more likely to be caused by a urinary tract infection , bladder stones, an overactive bladder, or an enlarged prostate . Still, its important to have them checked by a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.
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Identify And Address Perpetuating Factors
In addition to the specific treatments noted above, anyone who has pelvic floor spasm must look carefully to see if any habits or disorders may be exacerbating the problem.
- Systemic Perpetuating Factors. If not properly addressed, sleep disorders, hypothyroidism, and malnutrition can interfere with treatment of pelvic floor spasm. Our goal is to identify and correct these problems to optimize treatment success.
- Mechanical Perpetuating Factors. Occupational factors such as holding urine for long periods, or postural factors such as prolonged sitting, immobility, or long distance driving can exacerbate pelvic floor spasm.
- Emotional Perpetuating Factors. Chronic stress or anxiety can interfere with a good treatment outcome. Elimination of stress and anxiety is not always possible, but patients can often modify their lifestyle to reduce these problems, once they understand the impact on their health and wellness.
What Is Uterus Pain
Pain in the uterus area is commonly called pelvic pain which is pain in the lowest part of your abdomen and pelvis 1).
Pelvic pain is a general term used to describe pain that occurs mostly or only in the region below a womans belly button. This region includes the lower stomach, lower back, buttocks, and genital area 2).
Pelvic pain is chronic if it lasts for more than 6 months and affects a womans quality of life 3). This condition is a common reason why women seek medical care 4).
There are many possible causes of pelvic pain, and it may be difficult to figure out the specific cause or causes 5). A womans pelvic pain may result from multiple causes occurring all at the same time. In many cases, pelvic pain indicates a problem with one or more of the organs in the pelvic area, such as the uterus, vagina, intestine, bladder or from musculoskeletal sources. Problems may include infection, inflammation, or conditions such as endometriosis. And a woman with one chronic pain condition is at increased risk for other types of chronic pain.
The intensity of a womans pelvic pain may not relate to the severity of the problem or condition causing the pain 6). For example, a woman with only small areas of endometriosis may experience intense pain.
How many women have pelvic pain ?
Researchers are not sure exactly how many women in the United States have chronic pelvic pain.
Figure 1. Uterus anatomy and location
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You Have Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
PID is actually more complicated than just an infection of your reproductive organs, though thats technically what the term means. PID is commonly caused by undiagnosed STDs â typically gonorrhea and chlamydia â passing bacteria through the cervix into the fallopian tubes, uterus, ovaries and elsewhere. It sounds like a disease this serious should have extremely obvious symptoms, but PID often only produces mild discomfort including pelvic pain, painful urination, and menstrual cramping. The big sign of a PID infection is yellow or green vaginal discharge, so if that shows up or you feel concerned in any way, get to a doctor immediately PID is linked to infertility and ectopic pregnancies.
What Are The Symptoms Of Pelvic Pain
Although pain is the core symptom of pelvic pain, the specifics of that pain and other symptoms vary from woman to woman. Pelvic pain can be severe enough that it interferes with normal activities, such as going to work, exercising, or having sex.
Women describe pelvic pain in many ways. Pelvic pain can be steady, or it can come and go. It can be a sharp and stabbing pain felt in a specific spot, or a dull pain that is spread out. Some women have pain that occurs only during their menstrual periods. Some women feel pain when they need to use the bathroom, and some feel pain when lifting something heavy. Some women have pain in the vulva , which is called vulvodynia, during sex or when inserting a tampon 15), 16).
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What Are The Symptoms Of Ic
People with interstitial cystitis have repeat discomfort, pressure, tenderness or pain in the bladder, lower abdomen, and pelvic area. Symptoms vary from person to person, may be mild or severe, and can even change in each person as time goes on.
Symptoms may include a combination of these symptoms:
How Is Pelvic Pain Diagnosed
To find out the cause of a womans pain, her health care provider will 17):
- Ask questions about the womans pain and health history. How a woman describes her pain can help her health care provider figure out the pain type and what might be causing it.
- Perform a physical exam. The health care provider will examine the abdomen and pelvis, and check the womans organs, muscles, and tissues in the pelvic region for tenderness or abnormalities that suggest a pain disorder.
The information the doctor gathers from the questions and physical exam will help the doctor decide whether additional tests or procedures are needed to help diagnose the cause of the pelvic pain. These tests or procedures may include 18), 19):
- Lab tests, such as blood work or a urine test
- Pelvic ultrasound, a procedure that uses sound waves to look at organs and structures inside the pelvic region3
- Pelvic laparoscopy, a minor surgery in which the doctor inserts a viewing instrument called a laparoscope through a small cut in the skin below the belly button to look inside the pelvis4
- Pelvic MRI scan, an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the pelvis5
- Cystoscopy, looking into the bladder by inserting a viewing instrument6
- Colonoscopy, looking into the bowel by inserting a viewing instrument7
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