Chronic pelvic pain is defined as pain that occurs below the belly button (umbilicus) and has been present for at least 6 months.
It can be quite difficult to make the diagnosis and treat the underlying cause may be due to one or more conditions. A variety of disorders can cause pelvic pain .
Gynaecological causes include:
Non-gynaecological causes include:
How is the diagnosis made?
Detailed information about your symptoms recorded in a pain diary is the first step in making a diagnosis. Your description of the pattern of pain can often provide much more valuable information than laboratory tests.
What treatment may help?
Gynaecological conditions are often treated medically but surgery may be necessary in some instances. Hormonal treatment is given for endometriosis and stepwise analgesia is offered to alleviate pain. Surgical treatment of endometriosis may be beneficial in selected cases.
Bladder problems require specialist input from the urologists and involvement of physiotherapists for management of pelvic floor pain can be quite successful.
Psychological counselling or referral to specialist pain management teams may be required to manage chronic pelvic pain if no underlying cause is identified. Complimentary therapy may also be helpful
For more information – www.pelvicpain.org.uk/