Pelvic Health in Women: Understanding Chronic Pelvic Pain & Vulvodynia

July 1, 2011

The area of pelvic health in women is a growing area of concern for health care providers as well as women with disorders that involve the pelvic area (bladder, pelvic floor muscle, rectum and uterus.) Chronic pelvic pain and vulvodynia, two frustrating pelvic disorders seen in young adult women, is not well understood.

 

The Incontinence Center
Director: Diane K. Newman, RNC, MSN, CRNP, FAAN
Columnist: Eric Rovner, MD

Abstract

The area of pelvic health in women is a growing area of concern for health care providers as well as women with disorders that involve the pelvic area (bladder, pelvic floor muscle, rectum and uterus.) Chronic pelvic pain and vulvodynia, two frustrating pelvic disorders seen in young adult women, is not well understood. Research on these two conditions, which are often linked under the umbrella of “chronic pain syndromes”, is scarce, especially as it relates to successful treatments. Women with these complaints tend to visit specialists who provide non-surgical treatments for incontinence and other pelvic disorders because they seem appropriate. This article will provide an overview of the clinical picture of both conditions, describe specific evaluation techniques, and outline practical treatment options that can be provided.

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