Gynecological Pelvic Problems

Don’t plan your life around your period.

When it comes to women’s health and periods, a little variation is to be expected. But if you’ve been experiencing unusually heavy periods, irregular bleeding or excessive pelvic pain lately, that’s not normal. And it’s time to find out why.

There are many possible causes, which is why it’s a good idea to contact one of the independent providers at Vista Health System.  The team of professionals see pelvic symptoms every day and can help you find the best treatment option for whatever is troubling you. Here is a list of conditions that may help you have a discussion with a GYN specialist about what you are experiencing.

Heavy menstrual bleeding

This occurs when your cycle is regular, but bleeding is unusually heavy or prolonged. Bleeding is considered heavy if you need to change your pad or tampon every 1-2 hours or if you’re passing large clots. Bleeding is prolonged if it lasts more than 8 days.

Common causes include:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Adenomyosis
  • Bleeding disorder affecting the way the blood normally clots

Dysmenorrhea (debilitating periods)

Some discomfort is common with your period. But when heavy bleeding and painful cramps keep you from living your life, you may have a condition known as dysmenorrhea.

Possible causes include:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Uterine polyps
  • Intrauterine devices

Abnormal bleeding

This includes bleeding that occurs outside the normal menstrual cycle, such as between periods, during sex, after menopause or for extended periods lasting more than 7 days. Abnormal bleeding can be caused by:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Hormonal changes associated with onset of menstruation or menopause
  • Cancer
  • Uterine polyps or growths
  • Contraceptive methods
  • Cesarean scar defect

Irregular bleeding

Some women may experience two or more months with no bleeding, followed by phases of spotting or heavy bleeding.

The most likely cause of this type of irregular bleeding is:

  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (abnormal ovulation)

Amenorrhea (no period)

Young women 16 years old who have never had a period, or women who haven’t had a period for 90 days but aren’t in menopause, may have a condition called amenorrhea.

Amenorrhea can result from:

  • Depression
  • Eating disorders, extreme weight gain/loss or obesity
  • Excessive exercising
  • Hormonal issues such as a thyroid disorder or polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Other illnesses

Excessive pelvic pain

Pelvic pain can have many causes — some harmless, others requiring a trip to the hospital. Although it can often be traced to your reproductive organs, pelvic pain can also come from your bladder, gastrointestinal system, nerves or muscles. That’s why it’s so tricky to diagnose.

First, ask yourself this question: Is the pain acute (sudden, severe) or chronic (lasting more than 6 months)? Your gynecologist will want to know.

Acute pelvic pain, which happens very suddenly, can result from:

  • Ovulation
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Twisted or ruptured ovarian cyst
  • Ruptured fallopian tube
  • Miscarriage or threatened miscarriage
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Appendicitis

Chronic pelvic pain (which comes and goes or is constant, lasting more than 6 months) can be caused by:

  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometrial polyps
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Pelvic adhesions caused by scar tissue
  • Cancers of the reproductive tract
  • Vulvodynia
  • Pelvic floor muscle tension
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (ovarian cyst)
  • Pelvic organ prolapse
  • Interstitial cystitis (bladder inflammation)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Appendicitis
  • Urinary stones
  • Musculoskeletal problems (fibromyalgia, hernia)

If you’ve been having worrisome pelvic problems, it’s time to find out why. It’s important to keep a record of your symptoms to have a meaningful conversation with a gynecologist. Of course, don’t delay care if you are experiencing a medical emergency, contact 911 or go to the closest ER.



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