The pelvis is a vital structure that houses many organs such as the bowel, bladder, and uterus. Should a woman experience problems related to her pelvis, these organs may also be affected. Learn more about the most common conditions affecting the pelvis here.
What is the Pelvis?
Before we discuss the conditions affecting the pelvis, we must first talk about the pelvis itself.
The pelvis is a basin-shaped structure located below the abdomen and on top of the legs. When we talk about the pelvis in relation to women’s health, we generally pertain to the following structures:
- Ovaries, which produce the egg cells
- The uterus or the womb (matris) and the organs near it, such as the bladder
- Fallopian tubes, which carry the egg cells from the ovaries to the uterus
- Cervix, which connects the uterus to the vagina
The problems that occur in any of the organs mentioned above can be considered a pelvic-related issue. But what are the most common pelvic issues in women?
The Most Common Conditions Affecting the Pelvis
Some of the commonly reported pelvic-related health issues are the following:
Usually, the uterus or the womb is either tipped forward (anteverted) or upright. But, for some women, the uterus is tipped backward (retroverted).
An anteverted uterus doesn’t cause any problem unless it’s too tilted forward, in which case the woman might feel a slight pressure in front of their pelvis. Similarly, a patient with a retroverted uterus generally wouldn’t have any symptom unless she has an associated condition like endometriosis.
One of the common conditions affecting the pelvis is endometriosis.
Endometriosis happens when the tissues similar to the lining of the uterus grow in places other than the womb, such as the ovaries and the fallopian tubes.
Please note that it is a long-term condition that results in symptoms like pain during sex, pain while peeing, and difficulty getting pregnant.
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding happens when a woman loses more than 80 ml of blood during her period. It is also defined as having a prolonged period that lasts for more than 7 days.
There may not be an underlying reason for a heavy menstrual flow, but in other cases, it happens because of the following conditions:
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Uterine fibroids or myoma
- Uterine cancer
The treatment for heavy bleeding depends on its cause, but one of the options is dilatation and curettage (raspa). In raspa, the doctor dilates the cervix and scrapes the lining of the womb with a spoon-shaped tool called a curette.
Another one of the most common conditions affecting the pelvis is urinary incontinence or the loss of bladder control that results in involuntary urine leakage.
Women who have urinary incontinence usually experience urine leaking when they cough, sneeze, or exercise. At times they also feel the overpowering urge to pee but cannot reach the comfort room in time.
Treatment options for urinary incontinence include bladder training, which aims to control the urge by delaying urination. The doctor may also order some medications that calm overactive bladder or medical procedures that improve urinary control, such as botox or radiofrequency therapy.
Vaginismus happens when the vagina “tightens up” during penetrative sex. Reports say that it is a woman’s natural reaction to fear of vaginal penetration.
Although women who experience vaginismus experience pain, distress, and anxiety due to their lack of control over their body, the condition is treatable and doesn’t necessarily affect the patient’s ability to feel aroused.
The most common treatments for vaginismus is psychosexual therapy (talk therapy) and relaxation techniques like meditation and breathing exercises.
Pelvic Organ Prolapse
There is a hammock-like structure called the pelvic floor in the pelvis, which supports various pelvic organs. As the woman ages, the pelvic floor muscle may weaken and cause one or more of the pelvic organs to prolapse or drop from their original position.
Patients who suffer from pelvic organ prolapse often feel heavy in their lower tummy and genitals because the bowel, bladder, or uterus bulges into the vagina.
To treat pelvic organ prolapse, lifestyle changes are necessary. Try to lose weight and avoid heavy lifting. Additionally, talk to your doctor about pelvic floor exercise.
Urinary Tract Infections
And finally, we cannot talk about pelvic-related health issues without mentioning urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Women often experience UTI because they have a shorter urethra, the tube through which the urine leaves the body. A shorter urethra means the bacteria can easily travel to the bladder and cause bladder infection (cystitis).
UTI treatment usually involves antibiotic therapy and hygiene practices that prevent bacteria from reaching the urinary tract.
Women who develop problems in their pelvis need to seek medical help to get proper treatment. In case you experience pelvic pain or symptoms that pertain to the above-mentioned conditions, consult your doctor right away.
Learn more about Women’s Health here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.