A pelvic ache may be due to a variety of different issues, including pregnancy pain, preterm labor, menstrual pain, ovulation, a sexually transmitted disease or a condition affecting the reproductive organs. During a woman’s second trimester of pregnancy, abdominal pain that is accompanied by groin pain is quite common. Pain in the abdominal area may further be due to a condition known as pelvic congestion. A pelvic ache can be caused by a number of issues and, while most are not life-threatening, persistent pain may be the sign of a serious disease or condition.
Pelvic pain afflicts both women and men. When it occurs in men, however, it may be a symptom of prostate cancer. Other symptoms of prostate cancer include groin pain, back pain and problems urinating. Pelvic pain more commonly affects women, however.
When women are pregnant, pain is sometimes felt as the uterus expands to accommodate a growing fetus. Generally, this type of pain occurs during a woman’s second trimester of pregnancy. A mild to moderate pelvic ache occurring at this time is considered normal and is not usually a cause for concern.
Preterm labor, also known as premature labor, may also cause a pelvic ache. These pains are similar to the labor pains a woman feels as the uterus contracts in preparation for childbirth. In healthy pregnancies, labor does not occur until between 37 and 42 weeks. A pelvic ache due to preterm labor, however, may occur much earlier.
Menstrual cramps will also cause pelvic pain in women. This lower back ache or lower abdominal pain may occur a day or two before a woman’s menstrual cycle begins and usually subsides within a day or two after its onset. During her first several menstrual cycles, pelvic ache may be absent in a young woman because a regular ovulation schedule has not yet begun.
Sometimes, complications may cause a more severe pelvic pain preceding or during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Such complications may include conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis. In cases of pelvic inflammatory disease, pain is actually caused by inflammation due to an infection in the reproductive organs, which is often attributed to an STD. Pelvic ache due to endometriosis is also caused by inflammation, as well as the presence of scar tissue and blood that is not being properly circulated.
Another frequent cause of pelvic ache is pelvic congestion. Increased blood circulation in the pelvic and groin areas cause pelvic congestion. Varicose veins in the pelvic region are frequently to blame for this condition and are often missed during a gynecological visit.