Chronic female pelvic pain

In women, pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis that has been present for at least 6 months is called chronic female pelvic pain. The pain may be constant or may come and go and may also fluctuate from mild to severe.

Painful menstruation is an example of recurrent pelvic pain. Chronic pelvic pain may also be caused by pelvic infections, endometriosis, adenomyosis, adhesions, and diseases of the urinary tract or bowel. In addition, chronic female pelvic pain can be caused or worsened by past physical or sexual abuse.

Treatment for chronic female pelvic pain may include a combination of medications, surgery, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and emotional counseling and support. Treatment choices depend on the cause, if known, and the nature of the pain.

Last Updated: January 28, 2009

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH - Family Medicine & R. Hugh Gorwill, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

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