Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Pelvic Pain Common in Reproduction-age Women

Pain can often go untreated

A high percentage of reproduction-age women may be experiencing pelvic pain that goes untreated, according to an NIH study of 473 women aged 18 to 44 years who underwent a diagnostic and/or therapeutic laparoscopy or laparotomy at 1 of 14 surgical centers. Reports of pain were highest for individuals diagnosed with endometriosis. Researchers also discovered that one-third of those without any pelvic condition also reported a high degree of ongoing pain or pain recurring during the menstrual cycle. Details of the survey included:

• >30% of the women reported experiencing chronic pain and cyclic pain coinciding with an interval during their monthly menstrual cycle, lasting 6 months or more.

• Only 3% of the population reported having none of the 17 types of pain, while over 60% reported 6 or more types of pain.

• Approximately 40% of participants were diagnosed with endometriosis and 31% with other conditions, including uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, and tumors.

• Nearly 29% had not been diagnosed with any pelvic conditions.

Citation: Schiep KC, Mumford SL, Peterson CM, et al. Pain typology and incident endometriosis. Hum Reprod. [Published online ahead of print August 11, 2015]. doi: 10.1093/humrep/dev147.