Many women experience pelvic pain in their late teens and early 20’s, but only a small fraction report their symptoms to their Columbus gynecologist and seek treatment for relief.
Researchers recently surveyed 2,000 women and received almost 400 responses. And of those surveyed, almost 80 percent of the respondents reported painful menstrual periods, nearly one-third reported painful sexual experiences, and one-fifth reported pain in their external genitalia.
Even more importantly – nearly three-quarters of these women did not seek treatment from a gynecologist. Some of the reasons women say they didn’t discuss the problem include embarrassment and a lack of insurance.
But a larger part of the problem is that women often don’t realize that the pain they are experiencing is abnormal. In fact, there is a significant lack of awareness about pelvic pain in general. Some women thought their pain was normal and that their periods were as they were supposed to be.
But your Columbus gynecologist advises that if you are missing days from school or work or have to cancel activities, there is a problem that needs to be identified. No pain should ever be that severe, and if a woman has to take narcotics for pain, it’s not normal and she should seek advice from her gynecologist.
Aside from painful periods, other examples of disorders that cause pelvic pain include endometriosis, which typically occurs when the uterine lining begins to grow outside the uterus (usually on the ovaries or bowels), ovarian cysts, interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and/or urinary tract infections.
It’s very important that women get treatment for pelvic pain, because aside from the obvious effects, pain also affects a woman’s overall health and how they feel about themselves. Those who described higher levels of pain also reported having a lower overall quality of health.
There’s a big difference between those with pain and those without pain and their perception of their own health and the effect is has on their daily activities.
Studies examining how pelvic pain affects women in lower socioeconomic groups (who typically have less access to good medical care) indicate that pelvic pain is even more problematic for these women. But women need to understand that they do not need to wait so long to get help; there are ways to diagnose and treat these conditions.