Clinical characteristics and pathophysiology of pelvic pain in women

Academic Article


  • Chronic pelvic pain is a common and debilitating problem that can significantly impair the quality of life of a woman. Patients with chronic pelvic pain are usually evaluated and treated by gynecologists, gastroenterologists, urologists, and internists. Although these patients seek medical care because they are looking for help to alleviate their pelvic discomfort and pain, in many cases the only focus is on finding and possibly treating the underlying pelvic disease. However, often the examination and work-up remain unrevealing and no specific cause of the pain can be identified. At this point patients are frequently told, that no etiology for their chronic pain syndrome can be found and that nothing can be done. In these cases it is important to recognize that pain is not only a symptom of pelvic disease, but that the patient is suffering from a chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Knowledge of the clinical characteristics of visceral pain will guide the health care provider in making a diagnosis of chronic pelvic pain and in sorting it out from the lump diagnosis of idiopathic pain. Once the diagnosis of chronic pelvic pain is made,treatment should be directed towards symptomatic pain management. This conceptualization of chronic pelvic pain is very important, because chronic pelvic pain is a treatable condition! Effective treatment modalities are available to lessen the impact of pain and offer reasonable expectations of an improved functional status.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Wesselmann U
  • Start Page

  • 467
  • End Page

  • 475
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 6