Women's Health Matters

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Coping

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is a complex disease that can be difficult to diagnose. If your doctor is not able to pinpoint a specific cause for your CPP and identify a course of action to resolve it, strategies for taking care of yourself and coping with your condition will be important. Many women with CPP feel the need to learn as much as possible about their condition, to feel in control of their lives. They must often become advocates for their own healthcare, prompting their doctors to examine new causes for their symptoms and new approaches to their care. Even women fortunate to have doctors who are educated about CPP play an important part in their own recovery, observing their symptoms and educating the people around them.

Because the mind and the body are intimately connected, your psychological and emotional well-being may also help you cope with your condition.

  • Relaxation and stress management techniques may reduce your pain by counteracting the instinctive fight-or-flight response your body has to perceived danger (pain), and help you deal with the pressures of a chronic illness.
  • Exercise can help reduce your pain and promote a sense of well-being. While strenuous activities may not be possible when you’re in pain, you may find that stretching, yoga, strength training and other forms of exercise help. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, which act as natural painkillers.
  • Counselling can also provide support and coping strategies for women living with CPP.
  • The support of your family and friends can contribute to your mental health and be an important part of your treatment.

Relationships and CPP

Both sexual and non-sexual relationships may suffer when constant pain makes you irritable or depressed. It can be particularly devastating when CPP causes discord in an established romantic relationship. Chronic pain can limit a woman's sexual activity. A partner may feel rejected when a woman is unable to participate in sexual activities the couple previously enjoyed.

Communication is key. It is important to let your partner know that you also miss these aspects of your relationship. Sometimes partners feel frustrated and overwhelmed because they can't do anything to help. Or they may feel that your illness has overtaken other important aspects of your relationship. Couples counselling can help you understand each other's perspectives. It may also be helpful to bring your partner with you to some of your medical appointments.

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Chronic Pelvic Pain

Medical Description

Diagnosis

Coping

Treatment

Counselling

Hormones

Medications

Nerve Impulse Modification

Physical Therapy and Biofeedback

Relaxation Techniques

Surgery

Trigger Point Injections

FAQs


Discussion Groups

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Gynecological Health Discussion Forum

  • A publication of:
  • Women's College Hospital