When there is pain in the pelvis area of the body, it is known as pelvic pain and it is more common in the lower pelvic area than the upper. Also, statistics reveal that lower pelvic pain is mostly acute and not chronic but if the pain last for more than 180 days, then it is considered to be chronic lower pelvic pain. Both men and women suffer from lower pelvic pain that can hamper their day-to-day activities and prevent them from leading a normal lifestyle.
What Causes Lower Pelvic Pain in Males and Females?
There are several causes which lead to lower pelvic pain in males and females but in most cases the causes are gender specific and may vary in degree from one person to another. It is also important to note that lower pelvic pain can be the result of more than one problem or condition. Let us analyze the causes of lower pelvic pain in females and males:
Causes of Lower Pelvic Pain in Males
Being the size of a walnut, prostate is located right in front of the rectum in males and beneath the bladder. It is what makes part of the fluid for semen in men. Males who are younger than 50 years of age often experience Prostatitis, which is an inflammation or infection of the concerned area and is quite a common cause of lower pelvic pain in males. The male suffering from this disease finds it painful to both urinate and ejaculate.
As this disease can be both chronic and acute, bacterial infection may or may not be the cause behind it. If the pain is chronic, it is nothing to worry about but if it is acute then it can give rise to severe complications and can prove to be even fatal if not treated on time.
Causes of Lower Pelvic Pain in Females
Lower Pelvic Pain in Pregnant Females
Many pregnant women experience pain in their lower pelvic area. There can be several causes for such a pain during this period.
- Miscarriage - Miscarriage is one of major causes of lower pelvic pain in females. It is accompanied by excessive vaginal bleeding.
- Ectopic Pregnancy - Another common cause is ectopic pregnancy where the pregnancy tries to develop not within but outside the uterus or womb. This is a very rare condition and is accompanied by vaginal bleeding where the blood is very dark in color.
- Corpus Luteum Bursts or Ruptures - The corpus luteum is what helps a woman stay pregnant by making hormones accordingly. However, at times it can become too swollen and might burst resulting in a sharp pain on the lower pelvic area.
- Premature Labor - One of the most common causes of pain in lower pelvic area in females is premature labor. If a woman experiences labour before 37 weeks of pregnancy, it is premature and may cause pain in the lower pelvic area. However, in most cases, such a pain goes away once the child is delivered.
- Abruption in Placenta - Another rare cause of lower pelvic pain in females is placental abruption where the placenta detaches from the womb’s wall before the pregnancy reaches 24 weeks. This can also prove fatal for the baby as it solely relies on the placenta for oxygen and food.
This is why it is important to get a periodical check up done during pregnancy. If during pregnancy, you feel any kind of pain in the lower pelvis area, you must consult your gynecologist immediately.
Lower Pelvic Pain in Females Caused Due to Gynecological Problems
There are several gynecological problems which can cause lower pelvic pain in females.
- Ovulation - The first and the most common one is felt during ovulation where many women experience a sharp pain in the pelvis area when the egg is released from the ovary. The pain lasts for a few hours only in most cases but is severe in some and can occur on different sides of the pelvis each month.
- Menstrual cycle – It is quite common for a woman to experience lower pelvic pain during her menstrual cycle. Such a pain goes away when the cycle ends.
- Development of PID - When a woman develops PID or pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection in the womb, she is bound to feel pain in the affected area. The germs causing this infection travel from the cervix or vagina into the womb. The woman might also experience abnormal vaginal bleeding and fever along with the pain.
- Rupture of ovarian cyst - When the ovarian cyst starts causing problem in the ovary, it can cause pain in the lower pelvis area accompanied by irregular bleeding.
- Endometriosis – Commonly occurring in women who are unable to conceive easily, it is found to exist in women between ages 14 – 55. In such a case, the lower pelvic area pains during periods and also when the woman has sex.
- Peritonitis – This is the term given to the inflammation of the thin tissue layers in the abdomen, known as peritoneum. It not only causes lower pelvic pain but also swelling and needs to be treated medically at the earliest to avoid further complications.
- Fibroids experience degenerative changes - Fibroids are growth which take place in the womb and are non-cancerous in nature. However, if the fibroids degenerate or shrink in size, they not only cause swelling, urinary problem and heavy periods but also cause immense pain in the pelvic area. This is a common cause of lower pelvic pain in females.
Problems Related to Bone and Muscles Cause Lower Pelvic Pain
Women can experience lower pelvic pain if they encounter problems in the pelvis area, nearby joints and also the lower back region. In some cases, the person knows the exact area from where the pain is coming but in some cases the origin of pain is difficult to tell. In such a case, it is always advisable to consult a doctor at the earliest.
Lower Pelvic Pain Caused Due to Bladder or Bowel Problems
Problems related to the bowel movement or bladder in females which lead to lower pelvic pain
- UTI – An UTI or urinary tract infection of any kind causes lower pelvic pain and also gives rise to a burning sensation every time a person urinates. It causes the female to urinate frequently.
- Cystitis – This is a urine infection in the women’s bladder. It causes lower pelvic pain but can be treated with the help of antibiotic medicines and cleared thoroughly.
- IBS – IBS or Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder in the gut and is common in females. Though its cause is not yet known, it gives rise to lower pelvic pain and its other symptoms like diarrhea and bloating come and go.
- Hernia – When the walls of the abdomen begin to weaken, it results in hernia. This results in the contents of abdomen pushing through right under the skin causing a swelling or lump in that area. If the hernia strangulates due to a good amount of bowel being passed through the gap in the ligament, it causes severe pain in the lower pelvic area and also cut off blood supply to that part of the intestine which is affected with hernia.
- Appendicitis – This term is given to the condition where the appendix gets inflamed and is quite a common cause of lower pelvic pain in females. The appendix is operated upon in most cases and removed before it bursts inside.
- Adhesions – As the body tries to heal naturally after a surgery, adhesions may occur. In this condition the tissues become sticky and cause lower pelvic pain.
Other Causes of Lower Pelvic Pain in Males and Females
Some other common causes which can cause lower pelvic pain in both males and females are colon cancer, extreme constipation, sexually transmitted diseases, broken pelvis, interstitial cystitis, stones in the kidney, urinary tract infection, past sexual or physical abuse, any kind of obstruction in the intestine and Crohn’s disease. However, the treatment for males and females differ in several cases and so does the severity of the disease.
Lower pelvic pain can be caused due to a thing as minute as menstrual cramps or as big as uterine or cervical cancer. Understanding the cause, analyzing it and visiting your physician for a complete diagnosis will help you treat the problem effectively.