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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 53-58

Chronic female pelvic pain


1 Consultant, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Associate Consultant, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
3 Consultant, Pain Clinic, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
4 Department of Anesthesia and Pain Management, KPC Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Subhabrata Pal
Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata, West Bengal
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-5333.119325

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Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is defined as nonmalignant pain perceived in the structures related to the pelvis that has been present for more than 6 months or a non acute pain mechanism of shorter duration. Pain in the pelvic region can arise from musculoskeletal, gynaecological, urologic, gastrointestinal and or neurologic conditions. Key gynaecological conditions that contribute to CPP include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, adnexa pathologies (ovarian cysts, ovarian remnant syndrome), uterine pathologies (leiomyoma, adenomyosis) and pelvic girdle pain associated with pregnancy. Several major and minor sexually transmitted diseases (STD) can cause pelvic and vulvar pain. A common painful condition of the urinary system is Interstitial cystitis(IC. A second urologic condition that can lead to development of CPP is urethral syndrome. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is associated with dysmenorrhoea in 60% of cases. Other bowel conditions contributing to pelvic pain include diverticular disease,Crohn's disease ulcerative colitis and chronic appendicitis. Musculoskeletal pathologies that can cause pelvic pain include sacroiliac joint (SIJ) dysfunction, symphysis pubis and sacro-coccygeal joint dysfunction, coccyx injury or malposition and neuropathic structures in the lower thoracic, lumbar and sacral plexus. Prolonged pelvic girdle pain, lasting more than 6 months postpartum is estimated in 3% to 30% of women. Nerve irritation or entrapment as a cause of pelvic pain can be related to injury of the upper lumbar segments giving rise to irritation of the sensory nerves to the ventral trunk or from direct trauma from abdominal incisions or retractors used during abdominal surgical procedures. Afflictions of the iliohypogastric, ilioinguinal, genitofemoral, pudendal and obturator nerves are of greatest concern in patients with pelvic pain. Patient education about the disease and treatment involved is paramount. A knowledge of the differential diagnosis of the pain generators leads to a diagnosis specific management of the pain condition. Using a multidisciplinary approach can improve outcomes for patients suffering from the condition and minimize the associated disability.


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