2. The Differential Diagnosis of Chronic Pelvic Pain

  1. Paolo Vercellini
  1. Fred M. Howard MS, MD

Published Online: 21 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444391855.ch2

Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic Pelvic Pain

How to Cite

Howard, F. M. (2011) The Differential Diagnosis of Chronic Pelvic Pain, in Chronic Pelvic Pain (ed P. Vercellini), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444391855.ch2

Editor Information

  1. Istituto “Luigi Mangiagalli”, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda, University of Milan, Italy

Author Information

  1. University of Rochester of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 23 MAR 2011

Book Series:

  1. Gynecology in Practice

Book Series Editors:

  1. Aydin Arici

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444330663

Online ISBN: 9781444391855



  • Chronic pelvic pain (CPP);
  • interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS);
  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID);
  • gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH);
  • “congestive dysmenorrhea”;
  • “gold standard”;
  • “painful bladder syndrome ”;
  • “bladder pain syndrome”


Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) has a prevalence in the general population of 15%, and in about 4% of all women is of sufficient severity to cause them to seek medical care. In spite of being a common condition, the evaluation of CPP remains a complex and perplexing diagnostic problem. The differential diagnosis in CPP should be directed toward identifying not only potential etiologic diseases, but also any disorders that may contribute to CPP (“pain generators”). It is important during the diagnostic evaluation to recognize that pain itself may be a diagnosis due to neurologic disorders such as neuropathic pain and centralization.