Chronic Female Pelvic Pain (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Exams and Tests
Although your condition may be diagnosed during your first exam, don't be surprised if you need to have a series of medical appointments and tests. For many women with pelvic pain, diagnosing the cause is a process of elimination that takes a while.
Even if tests don't find any problems, it doesn't mean that there's no physical cause for your chronic pain. Tests aren't yet able to detect all causes.
It's a good idea to make a calendar or diary of your symptoms, menstrual cycle, sexual activity, and physical exertion. And keep track of any other things that you think are important, such as stressful events or illnesses. Bring it with you when you see your doctor.
To begin narrowing down the list of possible causes of your pain, your doctor will review your symptom diary and:
You may also have tests, such as:
Sometimes more tests are needed. Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following:
Your mental health
Chronic pain can have a wearing effect on the mind and emotions, which can in turn make harder to manage pain.
Your doctor may recommend a mental health assessment. You'll be asked questions to find out whether such conditions as depression, insomnia, or stress are adding to or being caused by your chronic pain.
For the best chance of recovering from pain, you will need treatment for emotional problems like these, plus treatment for any known physical causes of pain.
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