Pelvic pain is a common problem for women as well as men. There are varying circumstances that can cause a person to feel continuous or intermittent pelvic pain. Some of the most common issues for pelvic pain are cancer, cancer treatment, systemic issues, surface layer tissue issues, the body’s design, nerve issues, hormones, and the ever-important pelvic floor muscles. Isa Herrera, a pelvic floor specialist, states: “Pelvic floor muscles are the center of woman’s sexuality.”
Pelvic Pain in Women
Herrera states that those women who practice Kegel exercises regularly will have an exercised vagina muscles, and thusly reap the benefits. The benefits of having fit muscles are bladder control, less pelvic pain, better orgasms and pleasure, as well as having a fit abdominal region and better core strength. Many women believe that the “Kegel muscles” are strictly vaginal related, but that is not the case. There are over twenty-five types of “Kegel” muscles, some of which include the gluteal muscles and inner-thigh muscles.
If you are a woman who is in a work position or lifestyle where you sit most of the day, Herrera states you should:
- Watch your posture. The way you sit and stand can directly impact your levels of pelvic pain.
- Get up and move every forty-five minutes. Getting up and out of the sitting position will help your body to circulate blood flow properly and distribute blood to all areas of your body, including your pelvic region.
Practice core exercise. These exercises help to strengthen the core of your body and help to perfect your breath control methods.
- The Belly Hold. Bring your belly button into your heart by using breath control and tightening your base. Daily, do this for at least five seconds, repeating ten times each day. Remember to keep breathing through the exercise!
- Do not strain on the toilet. If you are finding yourself straining when on the toilet, consider a stool softener, or adding more fiber in to your diet.
Along with your Kegel exercises, you should also be practicing intravaginal work to keep your vaginal tissues & muscles working and pliable. There are many methods for this, including:
- Yoni eggs
- External and internal massage
- Crystal wands
- Vibrating wands
Herrera states that processes like meditation and biofeedback can also be beneficial for women dealing with pelvic pain.
Pelvic Pain in Men
Pelvic pain in men most often occurs between the navel and the groin. These pains are most often the result of a urinary tract infection, sexually transmitter infection, prostatitis, cancer, or cancer treatment. This pain is also reported in those men who have kidney disease, which raises the statistic of men with pelvic pain to ten to fifteen percent in the United States (Medical News Today).
These are the most common reason men face pelvic pain:
- Urinary Tract Infection. A urinary tract infection is a bacterial infection somewhere inside of the urinary tract. If you regularly get UTIs, or have pain in you lower abdomen, you should speak with your doctor.
- Sexually transmitted infection. Certain STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can also cause pelvic pain.
Prostatitis. This condition occurs when the prostate becomes inflamed. There are different types of prostatitis. Those are:
- Acute Bacterial Prostatitis. This type involved an infection within the prostate gland.
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis. This is a reoccurring infection in the prostate gland.
- Nonbacterial prostatitis. Any inflammation in the prostate gland without bacterial cause.
- Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis. This is a prostatitis with no direct cause. This type usually results in a test checking for prostate cancer.
- Hernia. Sudden lower abdominal pain may prove to be a hernia. A hernia is a piece of tissue or intestine pushing through a weak point in the muscles, creating a very painful bulge.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS creates symptoms like: bloating, painful cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and mucous in the stool. This issue can be adjusted or healed via diet and body health.
- Appendicitis. The appendix is a small organ on the right side of the body and when it is inflamed or infected, can become swollen and painful- or even burst. Signs of appendicitis include: fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, and swelling in the lower abdomen. If a sharp pain accompanies right side pain with these symptoms above, do not wait to seek out medical care.
- Urinary stones. Urinary stones are caused from mineral and calcium build up in the body. When the body cannot properly filter these out, they can clump together and crystallize into stones. These can be extremely painful when passing through the body and can cause blood in the urine.
- Cystitis. Cystitis is the inflammation of the bladder, usually from an infection. It causes pain to the pelvic region, along with a weak urine flow, difficulty urinating, frequent urination with little output, and burning pain when urinating. Typically, antibiotics can help with this problem.
- Urethral stricture. This occurs when the urethra narrows or is blocked, which hinders proper urine flow. This can cause pain while urinating, trouble urinating, leaking urine, blood in semen, or loss of bladder control.
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). This happens when the prostate gland enlarges due to something other than cancer. When the prostate expands, it presses on the urethra, which can cause trouble urinating and pain in the pelvis. BPH grows more common with age and affects over fifty percent of males over the age of fifty.
Occasional pelvic pain is common in men, but any long lasting or changing pains should be discussed with your doctor to rule out any potentially troublesome issues.
Identifying the cause of pelvic pain is always important for both men and women and should never be ignored. Both men and women can also suffer from chronic pelvic pain syndrome where the direct cause is never determined. In these cases, doctors work with patients to help control their levels of pain to continue to live a normal life.
The Sexual Summit: Isa Herrera, MSPT, CSCS