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Coping strategies of women having chronic pelvic pain


Address for correspondence: S Gokyildiz, Adana Health High School, Çukurova University, Balcali Kampusu 01330 Yuregir, Adana, Turkey



Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is a very common health problem among women. Women's quality of life significantly decreases because they are affected by the nervousness and negativity caused by pain in their daily activities. The purpose of this study is to find out the features of pain experienced by women with CPP and identify the coping mechanisms used by them. This descriptive study was conducted in one state hospital and one university hospital. The participants are volunteer women who have had pain complaint in their pelvis/lower abdomen or genital area for 6 months and/or more (n = 134). Average age of the participants is 34·02 ± 10·58; 28·6% of them (n = 38) have had pain for more than 2 years. Of all the participants, 42·9% described their pain as stabbing. The women were found to use pain killers (85·7%), sleep (46·6%), rest (46·6%), have a hot bath (34·6%) and massage (28·6%) with a view to reduce pain. The coping strategies used by the participants were identified as trying to think something else (27·8%), praying that the pain will not last long (38·3%), distracting attention by dealing with something else (32·3%), trying to feel better by ignoring pain (17·3%) and trying to heal pain by talking to themselves (16·5%). Women with CPP use both medical and spiritual methods with a view to cope with pain. It was found that use of pain killers increased with the increase in level of pain.