Pelvic Pain in Teens: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Female pelvic organs

Pelvic pain, or pain in the lower belly, can have many causes. Often pelvic pain is not serious and gets better in a few days. If your pain continues or gets worse, you may need tests and treatment. Tell your doctor about any new symptoms. These may be signs of a serious problem.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Rest until you feel better. Lie down, and raise your legs by placing a pillow under your knees.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. You may find that small, frequent sips are easier on your stomach than if you drink a lot at once. Avoid drinks with carbonation or caffeine, such as soda pop, tea, or coffee.
  • Try eating several small meals instead of 2 or 3 large ones. Eat mild foods, such as rice, dry toast or crackers, bananas, and applesauce. Avoid fatty and spicy foods, other fruits, and alcohol until 48 hours after your symptoms have gone away.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Do not take two or more pain medicines at the same time unless the doctor told you to. Many pain medicines have acetaminophen, which is Tylenol. Too much acetaminophen (Tylenol) can be harmful.
  • You can put a heating pad, a warm cloth, or moist heat on your belly to relieve pain.

When should you call for help?

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You vomit blood or what looks like coffee grounds.
  • You pass maroon or very bloody stools.
  • You have sudden, severe pain in your belly or pelvis.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • The pain gets worse or is focused in one part of your belly.
  • You have severe pain that does not get better after you pass gas or stool.
  • You have severe vaginal bleeding. You are passing blood clots and soaking through a pad or tampon every hour for 2 or more hours.
  • You are dizzy or light-headed, or you feel like you may faint.
  • You have new belly or pelvic pain.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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