an expert rundown of definition, symptoms, and treatment options
Chronic/Persistent Pelvic Pain (CPP) is pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis that lasts for more than 6 months. CPP is a common yet widely under-recognised, affecting 1 in 5 women, girls, and people assigned female at birth.
CPP is described both as a condition by itself, or as an umbrella term to describe a range of conditions that cause Chronic Pelvic pain. These include conditions like Endometriosis, Adenomyosis, Interstitial Cystitis, Chronic UTIs, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, Uterine Fibroids, Levator Syndrome, Vulvodynia
- Severe and steady pain - either over the entire pelvic area or a localised spot
- Pain that comes and goes
- Dull aching
- Sharp pains or cramping
- Twisted or knotted feeling
- Pressure or heaviness deep within your pelvis
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain while having a bowel movement or urinating
Living with CPP often has significant physical and emotional impacts.
It can make it hard to walk/sit, socialise, work, have sex, and exercise, significantly affecting a person's quality of life.
CPP is described both as a condition by itself, or as an umbrella term to describe a range of conditions that cause Chronic Pelvic pain.
These include Endometriosis, Vulvodynia, Adenomyosis, Interstitial Cystitis, Chronic UTIs, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, Uterine Fibroids, Vaginismus, Levator Ani Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Lichen Sclerosus, and many others.
Treatments for this condition vary from person to person and depends on the underlying cause. These can include medications, surgery, lifestyle changes, pelvic floor physiotherapy and psychological support.
A multidisciplinary approach that includes both physical and mental aspects of living with this condition (biopsychosocial approach) is the most effective as it targets all areas of your health.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy is a key part of treating Chronic/Persistent Pain.
Since the majority of the symptoms of CPP are experienced because of tension/weakness in the pelvic region, physiotherapy can help improve pelvic floor tension, and in turn have an effect on pain and other symptoms (e.g. bladder symptoms, pain during sex).
Psychological treatments can help to manage the emotional and psychological impact of the condition.
Femspace offer professionally guided self-help pelvic floor physiotherapy, psychological support and sex and relationship therapy for Chronic/Persistent Pelvic Pain.
CPP is a complex and often misunderstood condition, but recognising and treating it is crucial for those who may be struggling with its symptoms. People with CPP can benefit from a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis, followed by a tailored treatment plan that may include medication, therapy, and lifestyle modifications.
With the right support, people with CPP can significantly improve their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.