Why do you have pelvic pain that won’t go away?
Chronic pelvic pain is a vicious cycle. Once you understand this vicious cycle you can work out how to resolve it once and for all. You CAN make your pelvic pain that won’t go away…go away!
Think of pelvic pain that won’t go away like a fire that keeps burning on and on. It keeps picking up the dry leaves and paper that fly by. These act as fuel to keep the fire going. As long as there is fuel, the fire won’t go out. Even though the match that lit it is long burnt out!
It doesn’t matter what the match was that started the fire. It might have been a nasty episode of thrush that was hard to beat. Maybe it was a bout of urinary tract infections with repeat antibiotics. Maybe it was a fall: on your bottom on the ice-skating rink, on your crotch onto a tree branch or bike seat. A childbirth tear or a scar from gynaecological surgery can do it. Maybe you had a painful medical procedure, or one too many rounds of IVF. It might even have been a combination of the above!
How muscle problems can promote pelvic pain that won’t go away
Regardless of what started it, the initial inflammation eventually resolves. But even after it’s healed, the imprint of the experience remains. In a way, the memory of it lives on in your nerves, muscles and organs in the pelvis. Your pelvic muscles tense up, trying to protect you from future trauma. But sometimes this same muscle tension actually keeps the problem going . The muscle tension restricts your circulation in your pelvis. It might prevent your pelvic joints from moving freely. This then makes it harder for some muscles to work, while others compensate. This might lead to more muscle tension and spasm. Sex hurts, so you unconsciously tense the muscles even more, and you don’t produce good lubrication. Have you spotted the vicious cycle?
How nutrition problems can promote pelvic pain that won’t go away
Then let’s say you’re a bit run-down nutritionally. You haven’t been eating as well as you could. Or, you are eating ok, but stress is making you use up your nutrients faster. Or, you are on medication that decreases certain nutrients in the body, like the Pill. Let’s take magnesium, for example – when you are low, your muscles have difficulty relaxing. It keeps the vicious cycle of muscle tension going, which increases your pelvic pain. Another example: zinc. When your zinc levels are low, your body doesn’t keep or build muscle well. So the muscle that you DO have has to work too hard, creating tension and spasm in the pelvis. Low zinc and iron predisposes to vaginal infections. This just adds ‘’fuel to the fire’’!
How brain and nervous system problems stop the pelvic pain from going away
The longer you have the pain, the more your brain adapts to the pain (gets used to it). It starts to see the pain as a normal part of you. Even when your body is recovering, the brain can lag behind. As smart as it is, it can THINK there is still a big problem, even when the problem is resolving! This doesn’t mean the pain is all in your head. It is very real. Very real changes are taking place in your brain and nerves because of the pain. The pain causes stress, the stress causes anxiety, and the anxiety increases danger messages to the brain.
You experience this as ongoing pain. To change this for the better, you need to work on the brain via ‘’brain exercises’’. I have designed a 12-week program for this you can do at home. This is outlined in my e-book Outsmart Your Pain.
How do you get rid of pelvic pain that won’t go away?
As you can see, there are many causes of the pain, all working together. (It’s multifactorial). You can make a good start on it yourself by following the program in my e-book. But you need to seek specialist help as well. You need a health professional who has expertise in breaking the cycle of chronic pelvic pain. You need a health professional who keeps up with the research. At the same time, they need to be open to new ideas and treating you as an individual, not a research study. If you can’t yet get to such a professional, there are some DIY activities that can get you started on breaking the cycle of pelvic pain. These activities include specific muscle stretches, special breathing training and pelvic relaxation techniques. There are pelvis audios available on this site to help you with this.