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