Go to a health care provider, not Alice!

Originally Published: April 10, 1998 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: April 22, 2013
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Dear Alice,

I have a nagging pain in my left ovary and it is always there irrespective of what time of the month it is. Could it be endometriosis? I had unprotected sex with my boyfriend (who is now my husband) for 2 years when I was 15 and 16 and I only fell pregnant once and it ended up as a miscarriage 10 days after my period was due. A lot of doctors thought it may be PID but I had cervical swabs taken and it all came back negative, but I took the antibiotics anyway. I was also on the pill but it made me feel sick so I stopped. My husband and I are now trying to conceive but that nagging pain won't go away. I have also noticed that the last two periods were very painful. I have had the pain for 3 years!! HELP ME PLEASE!!

Dear Reader,

Pain is your body's way of indicating that there's a problem, so it's good that you are listening to these signals. It sounds like you have sought medical help in the past, and it must be frustrating and worrisome that you are still in pain. The best way to find out what is causing your continuous discomfort is to get another medical opinion. In order to get treated and plan for a healthy pregnancy, you need to see a health care provider and get the right diagnosis.

There are several possible explanations for the symptoms you described including ovarian cysts, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease or PID. It's also possible that the pain is the result of another health condition unrelated to your reproductive system. You'll need to see a health care provider to find out the exact cause of your pain and determine the appropriate treatment plan.

If you are wary to go back to back to the doctor who diagnosed you with PID, you can ask for a referral to another health care provider to get a second opinion. It might also be worthwhile to visit a provider, clinic, or hospital that specializes in women's reproductive health. If you are a Columbia student on the Morningside campus, visit Open Communicator or call 212-854-2284 to make an appointment at Medical Services. If you are a student on the CUMC campus, call the Student Health Service at 212-305-3400 to make an appointment.

During your appointment, make sure to explain all the details of what is bothering you. That way, your health care provider will be able to give you a more accurate diagnosis. Even though it may be embarrassing to discuss personal information, remember that there's probably not very much that the provider hasn't seen or heard. Being open and honest about how you're feeling is really to your benefit.

Remember, if you are experiencing unusual pain, it's time to visit a health care provider. Hope you feel better soon and all the best in planning for your new family.

Alice