While there are many potential causes of pelvic pain, researchers are finding possible links with COVID-19 in some people.

Read on to learn how COVID-19 may be associated with pelvic pain, including why this may happen, how common it is, and what can be done to treat it.

Pelvic pain isn’t considered a common symptom of COVID-19. However, when it does occur, it may manifest in different ways.

Reactive arthritis

One 2021 report found that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 may lead to a rare complication called reactive arthritis. This type of arthritis is triggered by bacterial and viral infections.

The authors of this report highlight a case of a 58-year-old female who experienced right hip pain and subsequent walking difficulties after previously being hospitalized for COVID-19. With the help of imaging tests, she was diagnosed with reactive arthritis in the hip.

More studies of reactive hip arthritis are needed to determine how common this complication could be. But the report authors note there’s evidence COVID-19 could induce these types of autoimmune reactions, especially in people with a history of rheumatic disease.

Ovarian vein thrombosis

Ovarian vein thrombosis is another possible, but rare, complication that’s been reported in some females with COVID-19.

According to one case report, this condition may cause persistent pain in the lower abdomen that doesn’t go away with pain relievers.

Pelvic floor dysfunction

Additionally, a 2020 clinical commentary discussed the potential role COVID-19 could have on pelvic floor function. It’s thought that related respiratory symptoms from this disease may increase the risk of:

More specifically, an overactive pelvic floor may be associated with increased urination and pelvic pain, noted researchers.

Bed rest pain and stiffness

Pelvic pain may also occur as a secondary complication of COVID-19.

For example, if you stay in bed for longer than 2 days during COVID-19 recovery, you may experience joint pain, stiffness, burning, and weakness. Frequently changing your position can help prevent bed rest-related pain.

Common COVID-19 symptoms

While pelvic pain could be a possible symptom during and after COVID-19, it’s not considered common.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following symptoms are commonly associated with COVID-19:

  • cough
  • fever with or without chills
  • breathing difficulties or shortness of breath
  • headache
  • muscle or body aches
  • fatigue
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • nasal congestion
  • diarrhea
  • nausea or vomiting
  • loss of smell or taste
Was this helpful?

The exact duration of muscle and joint pain symptoms following COVID-19 can vary.

In general, symptoms of mild to moderate illness may last 1 to 2 weeks. More serious infections or persistent (long COVID) symptoms may last for weeks or months.

COVID-19 is associated with pain in muscles more so than joint pain. However, if you have preexisting pain in your joints, such as those in your pelvic region, you may experience worsening symptoms.

For treating mild symptoms, such as joint pain, muscle aches, and fever, the CDC recommends taking an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Prescription treatments may be needed to treat moderate to severe pain and some cases of pelvic pain.

Depending on the underlying cause of pelvic pain, these treatments may include antibiotics, immunosuppressants, or anti-inflammatories.

For example, in the case report involving post-COVID-19 reactive arthritis, researchers note that a combination of the steroid prednisone and a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) called indomethacin helped resolve the condition after 14 days.

When to seek emergency medical help

Seek emergency medical help if you have COVID-19 and are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • trouble breathing, especially during mild activity or periods of rest
  • pale, blue, or gray-tinted skin, nails, or lips
  • inability to stay awake
  • confusion
  • pain or pressure in your chest
  • any other new or severe symptoms that are concerning you
Was this helpful?

To date, there’s not enough evidence to support an association between either COVID-19 vaccination or a COVID-19 booster and pelvic pain.

One 2021 review of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) described rare associations with urological side effects from either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

In fact, the overall rate of urologic symptoms was just 0.7 percent out of 15,785 adverse event reports. Pelvic pain wasn’t specifically noted as an adverse symptom on its own, either.

Still, it’s important to note this review only included data through early February 2021, which is before vaccines became available to the general population.

Another 2021 case report discussed a 69-year-old female who experienced pelvic girdle pain, shoulder pain, fatigue, and fever after her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

She was later diagnosed and treated for polymyalgia rheumatica. However, researchers cannot confirm whether the vaccine directly caused this condition.

More studies are needed to determine whether pelvic-related reactions to COVID-19 vaccines are possible. It’s also important to report any adverse reactions you experience yourself directly to VAERS. You can easily do so through their website.

Pelvic pain has been a reported symptom following both developing COVID-19 and getting vaccinated against the disease, but the exact association is not yet clear.

In some cases, the pain may be attributed to an autoimmune response to the novel coronavirus. Other cases involve exacerbation of preexisting conditions, such as arthritis.

While pelvic pain isn’t considered a common symptom of COVID-19, it’s important to report any concerns to a doctor right away. They can help determine the underlying cause of pelvic pain, and whether you need any prescription medications to help treat it.