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Diagnosing Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is characterized by abdominal pain or pain in the pelvis. Pelvic pain can have different causes. Accurate diagnosis is very important for effective treatment of pelvic pain. Abdominal pain caused due to other factors and pain caused due to underlying health conditions are often confused with pelvic pain. The doctor may ask you to undergo a series of tests to determine the exact cause of the pain.

If the pain does not subside after using pain medications, it is time get a thorough check-up done by a doctor. Depending on your gender, medical history, degree of pain, general health and underlying health conditions; your doctor may ask you to undergo specific tests. The following tests or examinations help in diagnosing the exact causes of pelvic pain.

Physical examination – A complete physical examination is a must in diagnosing pelvic pain and helps the doctor to check for any signs of tension, damage or weakness in the muscles around the pelvis.

Lab tests – The most common lab tests that help in diagnosing pelvic pain are:

  • Urinalysis
  • Pregnancy test
  • Cystoscopy
  • Biopsy
  • Semen analysis

Scans – Scans help the doctor to check for any damage to the pelvic bones or connecting tissues. The doctor may ask you to undergo one or more of the following scans:

  • MRI scan
  • CT scan
  • X-ray
  • Ultrasound

Surgery – Surgery is done when the scans fail to provide clear information about the abdominal or pelvic cavity. Surgery may also include inserting a tiny camera through a small incision which helps the doctor to take a closer look.

Nerve Conduction Testing – If the doctor suspects nerve damage, you may have to undergo nerve conducting testing. This helps in determining the rate at which the nerves in the groin or pelvis carry impulses. Abnormal nerve impulses can be a cause pelvic pain.

Bladder and Bowel testing – The doctor may want to see how well your bladder is performing. Irregular bowel movements can also lead to pelvic pain. It also helps in determining other underlying conditions if any.

The time taken to accurately diagnose pelvic pain may differ from person to person. A few causes can be determined immediately whereas nerve disorders or tissue damage may take a longer time.

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