A study in the November issue of the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology suggests that only a fraction of women who experience pelvic pain report it to their physicians. Approximately 72 percent of the women who completed the survey said they had pelvic pain in the past year. Nearly three-quarters of them did not seek treatment for their condition.
When asked why they did not discuss their pelvic pain with doctors, study participants cited the following reasons:
- difficulty with insurance or making appointments
- a lack of empathy and understanding from physicians
“But a big part of the problem is that women often don’t realize their pain is abnormal,” said Dr. Nash Moawad, who led the study.
Conditions that can cause pelvic pain include:
- painful menstruation
- ovarian cysts
- interstitial cystitis
- irritable bowel syndrome
- urinary tract infections
The study found that women with higher levels of pain also reported having a lower overall quality of health. They reported having more sad days and more irregular sleep patterns than participants with lower levels of pain. The researchers also concluded that “significant awareness deficits and barriers to care exist” when it comes to pelvic pain in women and emphasized the need for “careful study of the barriers to receiving adequate medical care reported by these women.” Read more about the study.