Pelvic pain is discomfort that occurs in the lowest part of the torso, the area below the abdomen and between the hipbones. It does not include pain that occurs externally in the genital area (vulva). Many women have pelvic pain. Pain is considered chronic if it continues to occur for more than 4 to 6 months.
Pelvic pain can be a gynecologic symptom. That is, it can result from a disorder affecting the female reproductive system.
The pain may be sharp or crampy (like menstrual cramps) and may come and go. It may be sudden and excruciating, dull and constant, or some combination. The pain may gradually increase in intensity, sometimes occurring in waves. Often, pelvic pain occurs in cycles that coordinate with the menstrual cycle. That is, pain may occur every month just before or during menstrual periods or in the middle of the menstrual cycle, when the egg is released (during ovulation).
The pelvic area may feel tender when touched. Depending on the cause, women may have bleeding or a discharge from the vagina. The pain may also be accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and/or light-headedness.