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Optimal management of chronic cyclical pelvic pain: an evidence-based and pragmatic approach

Authors Won HR, Abbott J

Published 20 August 2010 Volume 2010:2 Pages 263—277

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S7991

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Ha Ryun Won, Jason Abbott

Department of Endo-Gynecology, Royal Hospital for Women, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Abstract: This article reviews the literature on management of chronic cyclical pelvic pain (CCPP). Electronic resources including Medline, PubMed, CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, Current Contents, and EMBASE were searched using MeSH terms including all ­subheadings and keywords: “cyclical pelvic pain”, “chronic pain”, “dysmenorrheal”, “nonmenstrual ­pelvic pain”, and “endometriosis”. There is a dearth of high-quality evidence for this common ­problem. Chronic pelvic pain affects 4%–25% of women of reproductive age. Dysmenorrhea of varying degree affects 60% of women. Endometriosis is the commonest pathologic cause of CCPP. Other gynecological causes are adenomyosis, uterine fibroids, and pelvic floor myalgia, although other systems disease such as irritable bowel syndrome or interstitial cystitis may be responsible. ­Management options range from simple to invasive, where simple medical ­treatment such as the combined oral contraceptive pill may be used as a first-line treatment prior to invasive ­management. This review outlines an approach to patients with CCPP through history, physical examination, and investigation to identify the cause(s) of the pain and its optimal management.

Keywords: cyclical pelvic pain, chronic pain, dysmenorrhea, nonmenstrual pelvic pain, endometriosis

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