3. Psychogenic Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain, and its Impact on Psychological Status

  1. Paolo Vercellini
  1. Alessandra Graziottin MD1,2,3

Published Online: 21 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444391855.ch3

Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic Pelvic Pain

How to Cite

Graziottin, A. (2011) Psychogenic Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain, and its Impact on Psychological Status, in Chronic Pelvic Pain (ed P. Vercellini), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444391855.ch3

Editor Information

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

Author Information

  1. 1

    Center of Gynecology and Medical Sexology, H. San Raffaele Resnati, Milan, Italy

  2. 2

    University of Florence, Italy

  3. 3

    Alessandra Graziottin Foundation, Italy

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);
  • “psychological”;
  • “speaks through the body”;
  • post - traumatic stress disorder (PTSD);
  • “irritable bowel syndrome”;
  • “free - floating anxiety”;
  • “nocebo hyperalgesia”


This chapter will do the following: update the word “psychogenic;” suggest a pathophysiologic reading of the psychogenic contribution to chronic pelvic pain (CPP) via the stress-induced corticotropin-releasing factor signaling pathways, and differentiate predisposing, precipitating and maintaining factors; summarize the pertinent evidence; focus on the differential diagnosis between a prominent “psychogenic” versus somatic etiology for CPP; highlight the common diagnostic mistakes with a focus on iatrogenic factors and the nocebo effect; and discuss the psychological and sexual consequences of CPP.