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Cause and care for pelvic pain and heavy periods

Get answers to your questions about these problems.

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What causes pelvic pain and heavy periods?

Women of all ages can have pain in their pelvic area. This is the lower part of the body, between the stomach and legs, and includes your reproductive organs. Pelvic pain can happen with or without menstrual bleeding.

Pelvic pain is often due to:

  • Uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors in the uterus, an organ where babies grow during pregnancy)
  • Endometriosis (when tissue grows outside of the uterus)
  • Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease (an illness caused by germs in a reproductive organ).

We can help find the cause of your pain and tailor care to your needs.

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What can I do to help ease the pain? 

For pelvic pain, we suggest:

  • Taking over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen
  • Using hot towels on the pelvic area
  • Walking and doing light exercises to help you focus on your breathing
  • Eating non-fatty foods with iron to help keep your strength up 
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What if I still have pain?

If the above ideas don’t help, talk to one of our ob/gyns. They might order some tests or imaging to see what’s going on inside your body. These tools can help your doctor decide if other treatment is right for you.

How can you care for my pelvic pain and heavy bleeding?

One of our ob/gyns can talk to you about different types of care, which may include:

  • Medicines
  • Endometrial ablation — an operation to remove a thin layer of tissue that lines the uterus. This is done to stop or reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.
  • Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) — non-surgical way to reduce the size of non-cancerous tumors in the uterus. Learn more about this treatment.
  • Hysterectomy (operation to remove the uterus)
  • Myomectomy (operation to remove only fibroid tumors, not the uterus).
  • Pelvic vein embolization — non-surgical way to stop abnormal blood flow that causes pain. 
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The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs.