What Causes Pelvic Scar Tissue?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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Pelvic scar tissue can develop as a result of infection, inflammation, or surgery. Any history of medical issues in the lower abdomen including the intestines can be a source of pelvic scar tissue, and patients who experience pelvic pain, infertility, and other problems in this region should make sure their doctors have a complete medical history, not just an overview of reproductive health issues. There are some treatment options for scar tissue in the pelvic region if it becomes a medical problem.

Infections, including severe sexually transmitted infections and appendicitis, can cause pelvic scar tissue. The infection damages tissue in the pelvis, and when the body recovers, it may create scarring. This can lead to thickening of structures in the pelvis as well as the creation of adhesions, bands of tissue that form abnormal attachments. Adhesions may force structures in the pelvis into an unnatural position or could limit range of motion.

Inflammations, such as those seen with pelvic inflammatory disease and irritable bowel disease, are another possible cause. Chronic inflammation can cause severe health problems, as the body never has an opportunity to fully recover. Cells can start growing abnormally, proliferating and creating abnormal growths in addition to scar tissue in response to the inflammation. Patients with inflammation may notice symptoms like intermittent pain, nausea, and diarrhea, depending on the location of the inflammation.


Surgery can cause adhesions. Surgeons are careful during all procedures to limit scarring and protect patients, but bands of scar tissue can form even after a perfectly performed procedure. One problem with surgical adhesions is that surgery to remove the scar tissue could potentially make the scarring worse. The surgeon may use techniques like implanting a mesh to prevent scar tissue from forming, with the goal of keeping the patient's pelvic region free of pain in the future.

When patients experience pelvic pain, a doctor can order a medical imaging study to check for pelvic scar tissue, abnormal growths, and other possible causes of the pain. A thorough workup is necessary to accurately identify the cause. Sometimes scarring doesn't cause pain and it's the result of a different underlying issue, while in others, surgery to treat the scars may be a good treatment option. Scarring may also be diagnosed during an evaluation for infertility, as scars in the wrong places can make it difficult for patients to get pregnant. In this case, a doctor may recommend some fertility treatments to address the issue.


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Post 2

When my daughter had her son, she ended up having a C-section, which is basically like having an abdominal surgery.

When she was trying to get pregnant again, she was never able to. She didn't know that she had developed adhesions from the scar tissue from her surgery.

These adhesions and scar tissue were preventing her from getting pregnant again. Eventually she was able to get pregnant, but had to have another C-section.

She was told the same thing would probably happen again. She didn't want any more kids, so wasn't as worried about it this time.

Post 1

I have had two abdominal surgeries and know what it feels like to have pelvic pain from scar tissue.

After I had my appendix removed, I still continued to have pain and often times felt sick to my stomach. It was really weird, because these were similar to the symptoms I had before they removed my appendix.

When I got it checked out, my doctor told me I had adhesions from the scar tissue. He said that after abdominal surgeries like I had, some people develop this kind of scar tissue which can be very painful.

At least I finally knew why I was continuing to have so much pain. If I ever have to have another abdominal surgery like this, they will know ahead of time and be able to use some kind of mesh fabric to prevent these from forming again.

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