Gynecologic Health

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about prevention and wellness for women.

What are some causes or activities that can cause pelvic pain?

Dr. Larry Holland explains some triggers for pelvic pain. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What are some causes or activities that can cause pelvic pain?

I would say that from a cause perspective, as far as pelvic pain, if you look at pelvic inflammatory disease, it's related really to sexual activity. Number of sexual partners, onset of sexual activity, because usually that's related to one of three potential vaginal infections.

If you look at painful periods, or dysmenorrhea, a lot of times you see that in our younger patients. And you can have primary dysmenorrhea, which is usually less than 20 years of age. And there's usually no etiology for that. There's not really a cause for that. And then over the 20-year age category, you can see secondary dysmenorrhea, which usually has a cause. And that could be related to, like, cervical stenosis, endometriosis, adenomyosis, pelvic congestion syndrome. Those all can be related to secondary dysmenorrhea.

The endometriosis in general, that is related to the implantation of either the endometrial stroma or glands outside of the endometrium. And that can happen anywhere in the body.


Pelvic inflammatory disease is related to sexual activity. Women with a high number of sexual partners or early onset of sexual activity are more likely to contract potential vaginal infections.

We often see painful periods in younger patients under age 20, and there is usually no known reason for the symptoms. Women older than 20 with painful periods are said to have secondary dysmenorrhea, which is usually related to another condition such as cervical stenosis, endometriosis, adenomyosis or pelvic congestion syndrome. 

Pain from endometriosis is related to the implantation of either endometrial stroma or glands outside of the endometrium.  This can happen anywhere in the body and cause pain usually related to the menstrual cycle.

Learn more:

Source: Rashmi Bolinjkar, MD, Upper Valley Womens Center; Jeremy Crouch, MD, Womens Health Specialists and Midwives of Dayton; Heather Hilkowitz, MD, Hilltop Obstetrics and Gynecology; Amanda Fox, CNP, Dulan and Moore Dulan Family Wellness Center; Kathryn Lorenz, MD, Hyatt Family Care; William Rush, MD, Lifestages Samaritan Centers for Women; Jerome Yaklic, MD, Wright State Physicians Obstetrics and Gynecology; Mansi Amin, DO, SureCare Medical Center; Amy Renshaw, MD, Center for Womens Health and Wellness; J. Scott Bembry, Premier OB/GYN; L. William Rettig, III, MD,Lifestages Centers for Women; Elyse Weber, PA, Lifestages Centers for Women; Rhonda Washington, MD, Center for Womens Health and Wellness; Stacy Hudepohl, CNM, Center for Womens Health and Wellness; Larry Holland, DO, Premier Womens Center

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