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An overview is given of the current knowledge of the epidemiology of chronic pelvic pain (CPP) in terms of prevalence, incidence, and associated risk factors. However, the lack of a consensus on the definition of CPP greatly hinders epidemiological studies. Although data are limited, the prevalence of CPP in the general population appears to be high. A single study found a 3-month prevalence (pelvic pain of at least 6 months' duration) of 15% in women aged 18-50 in the general US population. In the UK, an annual prevalence in primary care of 38/1000 was found in women aged 15-73, a rate comparable to that of asthma (37/1000) and back pain (41/1000). The monthly incidence in primary care was 1.6/1000. No incidence figures exist for the general population. Analysis of risk factors for CPP is highly complicated owing to its multifactorial aetiology. At present, it is only of some value using women with CPP identified at community level, since those in primary, secondary or tertiary care are likely to constitute highly selected sub-groups.


Journal article


Baillieres Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol

Publication Date





403 - 414


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Chronic Disease, Endometriosis, Female, Humans, Incidence, Middle Aged, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Pelvic Pain, Prevalence, Risk Factors, United Kingdom