Pelvic pain: Chronic

Published on 10/03/2015 by admin

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Last modified 10/03/2015

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Chapter 27 PELVIC PAIN: CHRONIC

Chronic pelvic pain is defined as noncyclic pelvic pain that has lasted 6 or more months. The additional requirement of severity enough to cause functional disability or to necessitate medical or surgical treatment is often used in the definition. Pelvic pain may refer to pain that localizes to the pelvis, lower abdominal wall, lower back, or buttocks. About 15% to 20% of 18- to 50-year-old women suffer from chronic pelvic pain.

The most common causes of chronic pelvic pain are endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, adhesions, and irritable bowel syndrome. In addition, there is a strong association between chronic pelvic pain and a history of physical or sexual abuse.

The cause of chronic pelvic pain is often not discernible even after thorough evaluation. In addition, there may be several associated conditions that contribute to the pelvic pain. Disorders of the reproductive tract, gastrointestinal system, urologic organs, musculoskeletal system, and neurologic system, as well as psychologic factors, may be associated with chronic pelvic pain in women. On occasion, only one of these disorders is present, and treatment is curative. More often, however, the pain is associated with several diagnoses, and a number of contributing factors necessitate evaluation and treatment.