If you suffer from pelvic pain, you’re not alone. As many as 15% of American women suffer from pelvic pain that lasts six months or more. And some studies show that pelvic pain affects as many as 30% of women of childbearing age.
Because pelvic pain can be caused by many underlying medical issues, diagnosing and treating pelvic pain can be challenging. If you have pelvic pain and bleeding, working with an experienced doctor is the first step to getting the right diagnosis — and the right treatment. As a leading gynecologist and obstetrician in Newburgh, Indiana, Paul W. Morrison, M.D., is skilled in both identifying the causes of pelvic pain and developing successful treatment plans.
While some medical practices may be limited to conservative treatment options, such as medication, physical therapy, or nutrition therapy, Dr. Morrison also offers state-of-the-art minimally invasive surgical procedures that can address the underlying causes of painful symptoms. Having access to a wide array of treatments means you can find the optimal treatment — surgical or nonsurgical — that works best for you.
Causes of pelvic pain
The pelvic area is home to several organs as well as lots of blood vessels, muscles, and nerves. Any of these “components” can wind up causing or contributing to painful symptoms. When pain is accompanied by vaginal bleeding, it’s most likely an issue involving your reproductive organs, such as your uterus or fallopian tubes. Some of the more common causes of chronic or recurrent pelvic pain include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Untreated sexually transmitted diseases or other infections
- Ectopic pregnancy
Sometimes, the cause of pelvic pain can be diagnosed with a pelvic exam and lab work to confirm a diagnosis or rule out other causes. Other times, imaging tests or internal exams using small cameras and scopes can be used to gain a better understanding of both the structure and functioning of your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.
Minimally invasive surgery for pelvic pain
While conservative treatments, such as medication, physical therapy, and nutritional therapy, can be helpful in treating some types of pelvic pain, some underlying causes of pain need surgery to correct. Minimally invasive surgery may be the best treatment option for you, especially if your pain is caused by an ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or symptomatic cysts.
With minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Morrison uses a lighted camera called a laparoscope, which is inserted through a very small incision in your belly. The scope contains a tiny camera that takes real-time video of your uterus and other areas in your abdomen. The video is transmitted to a large monitor, which allows Dr. Morrison to see the area. Dr. Morrison then uses small surgical instruments to perform the surgery as he observes the monitor.
Because minimally invasive surgery requires very small incisions, there’s less tissue damage and less bleeding than traditional surgery, which uses large incisions. And because the incisions are small and less tissue is cut, healing is usually faster and there’s usually less discomfort during recovery.
When endometriosis is seen, Dr. Morrison prefers to excise or remove the implants completely to increase the chances of a significant improvement in pain. When an ovarian cyst requires treatment, Dr. Morrison takes the greatest care to save the ovary to avoid changes in hormones or fertility if the patient desires this. Accomplishing these types of surgery can be complex, and Dr. Morrison and his team have the training and experience to provide this level of care.
Most surgeries can be performed on an outpatient basis, but sometimes you might need a brief hospital stay afterward. Recovery usually takes 2-3 weeks, but it might be longer before you can perform some activities, such as heavy lifting. Dr. Morrison will provide you with complete instructions to help guide you throughout the healing process.
To learn more about your options to treat pelvic pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Paul W. Morrison, M.D. today.