In Focus:

What is Really Causing Your Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain, decoded

Minor cramps when you have your period? Totally normal. But chronic pelvic pain—meaning it lasts more than six months—is a whole different story, and up to one in four women may experience it, according to a 2014 review published in Pain Physician. "Pelvic pain is a big puzzle that can be caused by many factors," says Barbara Diakos, MD, a gynecologist at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. "That’s why it’s so important for your doctor to listen to you, to hear what all your symptoms are, and to take you seriously." (If she doesn’t, find another gyno for a second opinion.) The good news is that once you and your doctor play detective to pinpoint the cause of pelvic pain, there’s plenty you can do to relieve it

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