Pelvic Pain: The Silent Burden

woman sitting on bed pain

A high proportion of reproductive-age women may be experiencing pelvic pain that goes untreated, according to a study by researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City.

The researchers surveyed more than 400 women who were scheduled to undergo surgery or imaging for such reasons as infertility, menstrual irregularities, tubal sterilization or pelvic pain. As the researchers expected, reports of pain were highest for women diagnosed with endometriosis, a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. However, one-third of those without any pelvic condition also reported a high degree of ongoing pain or pain recurring during the menstrual cycle.

The study, published online in Human Reproduction and was conducted by Karen Schliep, Ph.D., of the Division of Intramural Population Health Research at NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.