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Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain is pain that occurs in the area below the bellybutton and between the hips that has lasted for at least six months. The pain may come and go or it may be constant.

A variety of disorders may cause chronic pelvic pain, including conditions related to the reproductive organs, urinary tract, bowel, muscles or nerves.

Types of pelvic pain include the following:

  • Pain with intercourse or other sexual activities
  • Pain from tampon usage
  • Pain from speculum examination
  • Pain during activities like sitting, standing, bending or walking
  • Bowel movement difficulty
  • Urinary urgency, frequency or retention
  • Pain in the back, groin or buttock
  • Shooting pain in the legs
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pain that occurs before or after eating

Some possible causes of chronic pelvic pain include the following:

  • Endometriosis (uterine lining tissue grows outside the uterus)
  • Adenomyosis (uterine lining tissue grows into the muscular wall of the uterus)
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Vulvodynia (chronic pain in the area around the vagina opening)
  • Pelvic floor myalgia (pain from muscles in the lower part of the abdomen)
  • Myofascial trigger points (hyperirritable spots in muscles)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Painful bladder syndrome

Your Indiana University Health primary care doctor will ask you questions about your pain and medical history and will give you a thorough physical exam. Your doctor will probably refer you to several other types of doctors—a gynecologist (specializes in the female reproductive system), a gastroenterologist (specializes in the digestive tract) and/or a urologist (specializes in the urinary tract).

Depending on your symptoms, you will probably have one or more diagnostic tests. These could include a pregnancy test, blood tests, urinalysis and/or imaging tests such as ultrasound or laparoscopy (a thin tube with a tiny camera is inserted through a small incision in your belly to examine the pelvic area).

At IU Health, we have professionals trained in the specialized area of pelvic pain and dysfunction, as well as a convenient and comfortable environment to provide your care.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Chronic Pelvic Pain Treatment Information

Your IU Health provider will work with you to decide on the best course of treatment for your condition. Available treatments for chronic pelvic pain include the following:

Chronic Pelvic Pain Locations & Physicians

Use the search options below to find treatments available in your area.

Find a Specialist

Enter a Zip Code to find a specialist at IU Health.

Chronic Pelvic Pain Support Services

Resources and information for women who experience chronic pelvic pain are available from a variety of organizations.