In Australia, Persistent Pelvic Pain (PPP) is a condition experienced by 1 in 5 women each year and is a ‘hidden epidemic’ in health care due to its lack of research. It’s a unique condition and space that is rarely talked about, making pain in this area stressful for some regardless of its duration. Therefore, making it difficult to work, participate in social activities, exercise, or having sex.
Some factors that could impact and make PPP complex are:
- Biological factors (ie. physical health conditions, inflammation, hormones)
- Psychological factors (ie. your perception of pain and how it impacts your sleep, mood, and daily life)
- Social factors (ie. relationships, social life, work)
Although not limited to these factors, PPP could also suggest other pelvic inflammatory conditions such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, recurrent urinary tract infections, or other spinal, internal, and pelvic floor related conditions.
The Signs & Symptoms
Specifically, PPP is experienced in the area below your belly button and between your hips where your pelvic organs (bladder, bowel, ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes) are housed along with your pelvic floor muscles, abdominal wall, and muscles surrounding your hips, bottom, and back. Often times, these symptoms can last and be present for more than 6 months.
Some symptoms include:
- Pain with ovulation/painful periods
- Urinary frequency/nocturnal/urgency
- Irritable bowel
- Changes in bladder or bowel function
- Pain with sex
- Tail bone or coccyx pain
- Generalised lower abdominal and pelvic pain/discomfort
- General ill health - fatigue, poor sleep, low mood, feeling anxious
“So, how can a pelvic floor physiotherapist help me?”
Together with your Gynaecologist or referring physician, we will work together to understand the complex problem and improve your quality of life. A detailed history will be taken to help determine what is causing your pain and educate you on the relationship between your own anatomy, stressors you may be experiencing, and your lifestyle to help you achieve your goals. From there, personalized advice & education, exercises, and a curated treatment plan will be created to get you back to doing what you love.
Disclaimer: This is general advice only, ensure you always seek individualised advice from your Gynaecologist or Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist before commencing treatment.
Are you experiencing persistent pelvic pain? Book an appointment with Oxenford Physiotherapist, Louisa Tsang HERE.