Did you know that about one-third of American women suffer from chronic pelvic pain, or persistent, noncyclic pain that lasts for more than six months? If this describes you, you understand how pelvic pain interrupts your life, making even the most daily tasks a challenge.
At Darin Swainston, MD, FACOG, our OB/GYN physicians, Dr. Darin Swainston and Dr. Daniel Richards, help patients in Las Vegas, Nevada, uncover the root cause of their pelvic pain through our expert diagnostic services. We offer the most advanced treatments to ensure you’re back to living your life — without pain! — as soon as possible.
Here’s a closer look at pelvic pain, some common causes, and how we can help diagnose and treat your chronic pelvic pain.
Why do I have pelvic pain?
The pelvis holds many organs and tissues, including your digestive system, urinary system, and reproductive organs. Trouble with any of these and other systems that affect the region can cause chronic pelvic pain. Some of the most common causes of chronic pelvic pain include:
- Menstrual cramps
- Endometriosis or adenomyosis
- Uterine fibroids
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Ovulation pain
- Sexually transmitted disease or infection
- Ovarian cysts
- Bladder inflammation and infection
Ectopic pregnancy, a condition that results when the embryo implants outside of your uterus, can also cause sharp or stabbing pain in the pelvis.
How is pelvic pain diagnosed?
To diagnose the cause of your pelvic pain, Dr. Swainston and Dr. Richards use a combined approach. They begin by taking a comprehensive medical and family history, focusing on your current symptoms, including questions such as:
- When the pain started
- Whether the pain improves or worsens at certain times
- If/how the pain relates to your menstrual cycle
- Whether the pain is affected by sexual activity
- If you’ve had any illnesses, surgeries, or injuries
In addition, your provider performs a physical exam. This includes a pelvic exam, similar to what you experience at your annual gynecology appointment. Dr. Swainston or Dr. Richards checks the musculoskeletal structures of the pelvis for signs of damage, weakness, or tension, and checks for tenderness, numbness, or tingling in the region.
When diagnosing chronic pelvic pain, your doctor may also run laboratory tests, including but not limited to a pregnancy test to rule out ectopic pregnancy, culture swabs of the vagina and cervix to rule out cancerous growths, infections, or other abnormalities, and a urinalysis to rule out infection.
Finally, your provider may utilize other diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your pain. These may include diagnostic scans that allow your physician to “see” inside the pelvic cavity, such as:
- X-ray imaging
- CT scans
Sometimes your provider may need to perform minimally invasive diagnostic surgical procedures using laparoscopy to get a clear picture of what’s causing your pain. This allows your doctor to view your pelvic organs and look for signs of abnormalities.
How is pelvic pain treated?
Once they’ve identified the underlying cause of your pain, your provider at Darin Swainston MD, FACOG creates a customized treatment plan based on your specific medical needs. To help you find relief and to prevent your pain from returning, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- Medication and/or supplements
- Lifestyle changes
- Physical therapy
- Surgical intervention
At Darin Swainston, MD, FACOG, our providers use innovative robotic-assisted surgical techniques to minimize your discomfort and maximize results.
Get to the bottom of your pelvic pain by contacting the experts at Darin Swainston MD, FACOG. Reach Dr. Swainston and Dr. Richards at our Las Vegas office by calling 702-357-5741 or book an appointment online. Our office now also provides telehealth appointments for your convenience!