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May is Pelvic Pain Awareness Month

by EFHou Staff

Chronic pelvic pain can be a real pain in your life. From missing work to canceling social events or turning down job opportunities, the effects of chronic pelvic pain can have devastating impacts on your quality of life.


The International Pelvic Pain Society defines chronic pelvic pain as "noncyclical pain of at least six months' duration" that appears in multiple locations of the body and is "serious enough to cause disability or lead to medical care." Here's what that means.


According to IPPS, some estimates suggest that up to 24-26 percent of the world's population may have chronic pelvic pain. But people with chronic pelvic pain can also suffer from other comorbidities, including depression, anxiety, and poor sleep. Chronic pelvic pain isn't just abdominal pain; It can produce urinary, bowel, sexual, muscle, and gynecological symptoms. People in the United States spend an estimated $881.5 million on pelvic pain disorders per year on outpatient visits. In addition, about $2 billion in overall costs was associated with pelvic pain medical care. That's a massive economic burden, and it includes direct and indirect costs associated with treating pelvic pain, as well as reduced work productivity.


Unfortunately, because doctors and scientists know little about chronic pelvic pain, medical professionals often overlook it.


This is why it's so important to raise awareness about this chronic pain condition. Your pain is not in your head, and it does matter. May is Pelvic Pain Awareness Month, and the Endometriosis Foundation of Houston is committed to providing accurate, science-based information on endometriosis, pelvic pain, adenomyosis, and many other conditions that are frequently neglected by medical professionals. Raising awareness can lead to more effective diagnosis and treatment for chronic pelvic pain.


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Sources:

Ahangari A. Prevalence of chronic pelvic pain among women: an updated review. Pain Physician. 2014;17(2):E141–7.


Latthe P, Latthe M, Say L, Gülmezoglu M, Khan KS. WHO systematic review of prevalence of chronic pelvic pain: a neglected reproductive health morbidity. BMC Public Health. 2006 Jul 6;6:177. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-6-177. PMID: 16824213; PMCID: PMC1550236.


Sewell M, Churilov L, Mooney S, Ma T, Maher P, Grover SR. Chronic pelvic pain - pain catastrophizing, pelvic pain and quality of life. Scand J Pain. 2018 Jul 26;18(3):441-448. doi: 10.1515/sjpain-2017-0181. PMID: 29794266.


Susan D. Mathias, Miriam Kuppermann, Rebecca F. Liberman, Ruth C. Lipschutz, John F. Steege, Chronic pelvic pain: prevalence, health-related quality of life, and economic correlates, Obstetrics & Gynecology,Volume 87, Issue 3, 1996, Pages 321-327, ISSN 0029-7844,

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