Chronic Pelvic Pain

What is chronic pelvic pain?

Chronic pelvic pain—like any chronic pain—can take over your life. Living with pain every day can make it hard to focus on your work, your family and the other activities you enjoy.

It8's not all in your head—living with chronic pelvic pain is not normal, and it's not something you have to accept. Pain is your body's way of letting you know something is wrong. The experts at Main Line Health can diagnose and treat your chronic pelvic pain so you can live a pain-free, active life.

Symptoms of pelvic pain

Not all women experience pelvic pain in the same way. Your pain may be:

  • Mild or severe
  • Constant or it may come and go
  • Sharp and stabbing or dull and aching

Some women only experience pelvic pain during certain situations or positions, such as during sex or while standing or sitting for a long time. No matter what kind of pelvic symptoms you have, if you experience pelvic pain for longer than six months, you have chronic pelvic pain that needs to be treated.

What causes chronic pelvic pain?

Pelvic pain is described as general pain that you feel in your pelvic region—the area located between your hipbones in your lower abdomen. Pelvic pain is considered chronic if you have had symptoms for six months or longer.

Most of the time, pelvic pain is the symptom of a condition, such as:

  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • History of sexual abuse
  • Injury to the pelvis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic pain may also occur as a symptom of depression or stress. Sometimes, however, there is no condition or disease causing the pelvic pain. In these cases, it's important to realize that the pain is still very real and it can be treated.

Diagnosis and testing chronic pelvic pain

The gynecology specialists at Main Line Health understand that it's difficult to live with chronic pelvic pain. We provide a thorough examination including pelvic exam, ultrasound, lab cultures and imaging such as MRI or X-ray to diagnosis your pelvic pain. In some cases, laparoscopy may be recommended to view your internal pelvic organs to help with diagnosis.


Your treatment options will depend on the cause of your pelvic pain. Treatment options may include:

  • Antibiotics to treat an underlying infection
  • Hormone therapy, such as taking the birth control pill, to regulate your menstrual cycle
  • Laparoscopic surgery, to treat conditions such as endometriosis and fibroids
  • Physical therapy, to strengthen pelvic muscles
  • Prescription pain medicine for symptom relief
  • Trigger point injections using a local anesthetic to relieve pain long term

In some cases, a combination of treatment options works best to completely eliminate chronic pelvic pain.

Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Minimally invasive gynecologic surgery can be used to treat a broad spectrum of gynecological disorders with advanced precision.

Hormone Therapy

Main Line Health offers hormone therapy to treat symptoms caused by menopause, premature ovarian failure and surgical removal of the ovaries.

Pelvic Floor Rehabilitation

With three locations in the western suburbs of Philadelphia, we’re sure to offer pelvic floor rehabilitation near you. Our pelvic floor PTs treat pelvic floor conditions in men and women and we’re able to offer comprehensive treatments for these sometimes complex conditions.


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