Most women are used to having pelvic discomfort during their menstrual cycle, discomfort that typically resolves after a few days. But for roughly a third of the world’s women, pelvic aches and pains happen much more frequently, interfering with work, socializing, and family activities.
While some types of pelvic pain can be treated with medicine or other noninvasive treatments, these approaches aren’t always effective in achieving long-term relief. For these women, getting a hysterectomy — which is the removal of the uterus and sometimes the ovaries — is the best way to finally feel better, once and for all.
Paul W. Morrison, M.D., has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating chronic pelvic pain in women at his practice in Newburgh, Indiana, which serves the Evansville area. Here’s what he wants you to know about chronic pelvic pain and the options used to treat it, including hysterectomy.
Causes of pelvic pain
Pelvic pain can involve any of the organs or tissues in your lower belly, including your uterus, bladder, ovaries, and other surrounding structures. Gynecologic causes of pelvic pain can include issues like:
- Ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroids
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Vulvodynia (chronic vaginal pain)
- Organ prolapse
Determining the cause of pelvic pain can be a little challenging, but keeping a record of your symptoms — what they feel like and when they happen — can help. Many women with chronic pelvic pain have additional symptoms, such as:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Lower back discomfort
- Abdominal cramps or bloating
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Pain during intercourse
- Vaginal discharge
- Pressure in the lower belly
In addition to a review of your symptoms and a pelvic exam, Dr. Morrison uses other tests, such as blood tests, an MRI, or ultrasound, to diagnose the cause of your symptoms.
Some causes of pelvic pain can be related to your bowels, your bladder, or other structures that don’t involve your reproductive health directly. In those instances, Dr. Morrison can refer you to the appropriate medical care provider for optimal care and relief.
Hysterectomy for chronic pelvic pain
Dr. Morrison offers an array of treatment options for pelvic pain, and like other medical issues, he typically recommends beginning with noninvasive options, such as medication, nutrition therapy, and physical therapy.
But there are some types of pelvic pain, such as pelvic inflammatory disease or recurrent fibroids, that often don’t improve with noninvasive options. In those instances, Dr. Morrison may recommend a hysterectomy as the best way to find relief for pain.
A hysterectomy can be a good solution for chronic pelvic pain if your uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or vaginal structures are the primary source of your symptoms. By removing the uterus — with or without other structures — Dr. Morrison eliminates the source of pain and related symptoms.
Board certified in gynecology, Dr. Morrison is skilled in conventional hysterectomy surgery and minimally invasive surgery, which uses much smaller incisions. He’ll recommend the best approach for you based on the cause of your symptoms, your anatomy, and other factors.
Find relief for your chronic pain
Chronic pelvic pain can be debilitating. Feeling better depends on getting custom care based on your unique needs. For some women, hysterectomy surgery is the most appropriate treatment option for providing a lifetime of relief.
To learn more about hysterectomy and other pelvic pain treatments, call 812-490-5200 or book an appointment online with the practice of Paul W. Morrison, M.D., today.