Pediatric Pelvic Pain

Pediatric Pelvic Pain

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Summary

Pelvic pain is common in young girls. It can be acute or chronic, and it can arise from a variety of gynecological and non-gynecological conditions.

Expanded Overview

Certain types of pelvic pain –like menstrual cramps – are very common in adolescent females. Other causes of pelvic pain – like ovarian cyst rupture, torsion of the ovary and fallopian tube – are rare.

Causes

Chronic pelvic pain may arise from endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, bladder or intestinal spasms, constipation, or musculoskeletal pain.

Symptoms

Pelvic pain may be mild, moderate, or severe and occur on its own or with other symptoms. Pain may be steady or may come and go. It may be felt as cramps, stabbing or shooting pain, or a dull ache.

Tests and Diagnosis

If your daughter’s pelvic pain is mild to moderate and fits the typical description of menstrual cramps or ovulation pain, you can likely manage her symptoms at home.

For pelvic pain of unknown origin, or if you daughter’s pain is severe and/or accompanied by other symptoms, she should see her doctor. The doctor will ask about her symptoms and will conduct a physical examination. If needed, her doctor may also perform:

  • A pelvic exam
  • Blood tests to look for infection and other problems
  • A urine culture to check for bladder infection
  • A pelvic and/or abdominal ultrasound
  • MRI of the pelvis and abdomen
  • Laparoscopy 

Treatment

  • Mild to moderate pelvic pain caused by menstrual cramps or ovulation can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications.
  • Ruptured ovarian cysts that cause mild symptoms can often be managed with pain medicines. If a ruptured cyst is causing severe symptoms – especially internal bleeding – your daughter may need surgery to control the bleeding and remove the cyst (and sometimes the ovary).
  • Torsion of the ovary or fallopian tube must be treated with surgery to untwist the structures.
  • If your daughter has a bladder infection, her doctor will prescribe antibiotics.
  • If her daughter has appendicitis, the appendix will be surgically removed.
  • If your daughter’s pelvic pain seems to have a gastrointestinal cause, her doctor will refer her to a gastroenterologist who may suggest diet and lifestyle changes and/or order additional tests like a colonoscopy.
  • If your daughter’s pelvic pain is muscular, her doctor will recommend over-the-counter pain medication and rest.
  • If your daughter has endometriosis, she may be treated with pain medication, hormonal contraceptives, and –occasionally – surgery.
  • In the case of PID, your daughter’s doctor will prescribe antibiotics and recommend that any sexual partners be treated as well.
  • For bladder spasms, your daughter’s doctor may recommend dietary changes, timed trips to the bathroom, pelvic floor exercises, and medicines to relax the bladder.

Resources

Adolescent Young Adult / Gynecology

Phone:214-456-9099
Fax: 214-456-2230

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