How to Diagnose Pelvic Adhesions?

How to Diagnose Pelvic Adhesions?

Millions of women who complain of chronic pelvic pain, painful intercourse, pelvic tenderness or infertility are more often than not victims of pelvic adhesions. Although these are some of the most common symptoms of pelvic adhesions, doctors consider it difficult to diagnose this issue.

Pelvic Adhesions Reasons

Pelvic adhesions are nothing but a band of scar tissues in the pelvic area of a woman that stick the organs of the pelvis together, causing acute pain and swelling. Often, pelvic adhesions occur due to a pelvic infection, pelvic inflammatory disease (sometimes tubal infections caused due to a sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhoea, endometriosis, bowel obstruction, or as a result of previous surgery (removal of ovarian cysts, for example).

Other major causes of such adhesions include appendicitis, abdominal, rectal or vaginal surgical procedures, etc.

In a normal pelvis, the cavity is lined by a tissue called peritoneum that protects the outside of the organs of the abdomen and pelvis and does not allow them to stick or bind to each other. In case the organs get stuck to the pelvic wall or other organs due to the damage caused to the tissues in the healing process post a surgical procedure, the patient experiences chronic pain and swelling in the region because of pelvic adhesion.

Diagnosing Pelvic Adhesions

Diagnosis of pelvic adhesions is not easy as they cannot be identified easily in X-ray or ultrasound. Following are the methods doctors follow to diagnose the condition, since the symptoms alone are insufficient for diagnosing this condition:

  • Extensively study the medical history of the patient, especially the previous surgeries she has undergone
  • A thorough physical examination of the patient
  • Special X-rays and ultrasound, blood tests and abdominal CT scan
  • Suggest laparoscopy in order to identify the possibility of pelvic adhesions

Pelvic adhesions are a serious problem and require proper diagnosis and treatment from a specialist. In case left untreated, they can also be fatal.