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Over 80% of Women With Chronic Pelvic Pain Cope With Sexual Problems

Over 80% of Women With Chronic Pelvic Pain Cope With Sexual ProblemsWomen with chronic pelvic pain (CPP) are at higher risk for sexual dysfunction than women without CPP, research shows.

CPP strikes the pelvic region and lasts for at least six months. It can be caused by a number of health conditions, including endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. Fibroids, painful bladder syndrome, pelvic organ prolapse, and ongoing stress have also been linked to CPP. Sometimes, the cause is unknown.

The pain can be constant or intermittent, sharp or dull. Women may feel like there pelvis is heavy. Using the bathroom and sitting for long periods can trigger the pain.

Ultimately, CPP can interfere with a woman’s day to day life, leading to sleep disorders and depression.

It can affect a woman’s sex life, too. To what extent? In a 2018 study, researchers compared the experiences of 100 women in Brazil. Fifty women had CPP; the rest did not. Overall, their average age was around 37 years.

Each woman completed a questionnaire called the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), a standardized assessment tool often used in studies of female sexuality. The FSFI focuses on six domains: desire, arousal, vaginal lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction, and pain. Higher scores on the FSFI indicate better sexual function.

The women were also evaluated for anxiety and depression.

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