Pelvic pain may be either acute ( less than 6 months in duration) or chronic ( on and off for more than 6 months)

Acute Pelvic Pain


Common causes include:

inflammatory disease (PID)

urinary tract infection (UTI)


ectopic pregnancy

torsion or rupture of ovarian cysts

General Aetiological Classification:

·         Pregnancy-related:

miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, rupture of corpus luteum cyst; causes in later pregnancy include premature labour, placental abruption and (rarely) uterine rupture.

·         Gynaecological:

ovulation (mid-cycle, may be severe pain), dysmenorrhoea, PID, rupture or torsion of ovarian cyst, degenerative changes in a fibroid; the possibility of a pelvic tumour or pelvic vein thrombosis should also be considered.


·         Other causes:

these include appendicitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), adhesions, prostatitis, strangulated hernia.


Chronic pelvic pain

Chronic pelvic pain is defined as:

·         Intermittent or constant pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis in women.

·         Lasting for at least six months.

·         Not occurring exclusively with menstruation or sexual intercourse.

·         Not being associated with pregnancy.

Chronic pelvic pain is a symptom, not a diagnosis.

Aetiology (possible causes) of chronic pelvic pain include:

·         Endometriosis.

·         Pain tends to vary during menstrual cycle.

·         Can be associated with dysmenorrhoea (pain during menstruation) and dyspareunia(pain during sexual intercourse)

·         Adhesions.

caused by previous surgery, endometriosis, previous pelvic infection.

·         Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

·         Interstitial cystitis.

·         Musculoskeletal problems.

·         Prolapse of Pelvic organ.

·         Nerve entrapment.

·         Psychological and social problems.

·         Depression and sleep disorders.

·         Physical or sexual abuse as children.

·         Other causes.

In  men include

.        Epididymo-orchitis.

.        Testicular tumours.

.        Chronic prostatitis.

.        Prostate Pain Syndrome (PPS).