Women's Health Matters

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Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) – that is, pain in the area between your belly button and hips, that you’ve had for at least three to six months – is extremely common. Studies suggest that as many as 10 percent of all visits to gynecologists are made by women seeking treatment for pelvic pain. CPP may be caused by another disease or condition, or it may be treated as a condition in its own right. Unfortunately, this problem is still poorly understood and many women are never diagnosed or spend many years seeking effective treatment.

Our understanding of CPP is changing as our understanding of pain itself grows and changes. Although CPP may have many root causes, by the time pain becomes chronic, there is rarely a single, simple reason for the pain.

Our experience of pain relies, in part, on how the brain translates signals from the nerves. Our perception of pain can be influenced by our mood and by a variety of external factors. Effective solutions for pelvic pain may include medication or surgery but strategies like counselling and relaxation techniques can also be important components of treatment.

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  • A publication of:
  • Women's College Hospital