Chronic pelvic pain in women: common etiologies and management approach recommendations

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Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) affects 15% of women in the USA. These women typically have complex medical and psychosocial histories. They often have other comorbidid conditions, making diagnosis and treatment a challenge. In the urologic community, CPP is often labeled as bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis. Other diagnoses, such as vulvodynia and pelvic floor dysfunction, are less commonly recognized. Pelvic floor dysfunction probably plays a greater role than visceral abnormalities and should be diagnosed during the initial evaluation and subsequently treated. Evidence supporting the use of a multidisciplinary care team to optimize outcomes in CPP patients is growing. In this article, the common etiologies of CPP are discussed and the multidisciplinary treatment center the present authors developed to treat patients with chronic pelvic pain is described.

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