Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is pain in the pelvic area lasting 6 months or longer. CPP is a complex condition affecting 1 in 4 females that can be accompanied by a wide range of symptoms like pain or pressure in the pelvic or genital regions, and an assortment of stomach issues. The most common causes of CPP are painful bladder syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, myalgias (muscle pain or aches), and endometriosis. People with CPP often have more than one pelvic pain syndrome. CPP conditions can overlap with sleep or mood disorders, or other pain conditions, which can make pain more severe.

Women clutching lower abdomen in excruciating painChronic Pelvic Pain


Endometriosis is a complex chronic condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus is found outside of the uterus. The tissue deposits can cause inflammation and long-lasting symptoms like pain and infertility. 1 in 10 females are thought to have endometriosis. There is currently a diagnostic delay of 5-12 years to receive a diagnosis for endometriosis. This is due to the current gold standard for diagnosis being an invasive surgical procedure. Significant delays also come from having to visit multiple health care professionals before having access to a trained specialist. Specifically, people with endometriosis can have: painful periods, pelvic pain, pain related to sex, pain with bowel movements, pain during urination, fatigue, depression, anxiety, bloating, nausea, and/or infertility.

endometriosis explanation pictureModified from Anger and Foster, 2008

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a complicated disorder that is characterized by the presence of multiple small ovarian cysts and disruption of reproductive hormones resulting in high testosterone levels in the blood. It affects approximately 1 in 10 females, making it one of the most common hormone disorders during reproductive life of people assigned female at birth. Although a common problem, PCOS often remains underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed, resulting in a diagnostic delay that can extend from 2 to 5 years on average. The delay in diagnosis stems, in part, from a general lack of awareness. Currently, the gold standard for PCOS diagnosis typically involves a combination of medical history assessment, physical examinations, and laboratory tests to rule out other conditions. The wide range of symptoms and health complications associated with PCOS includes irregular menstrual cycles, pelvic pain, excessive hair growth, weight fluctuations, and difficulty achieving pregnancy. Some but not all people with PCOS may also have difficulty regulating their insulin levels. PCOS can remain unnoticed until couples try to conceive. Regularly discussing reproductive health with healthcare providers is crucial for early detection and better outcomes.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)


Infertility is the inability to get pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected penetrative sex. Approximately 1 in 6 couples experience infertility. Infertility may be due to age-related loss of oocytes (immature egg cells) or decreased egg quality in females. It can also be related to disease (infection) or lifestyle factors like diet and stress which can affect fertility in either partner. In females, gynecologic conditions like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome, premature ovarian insufficiency, or endometrial polyps can cause infertility.

Infertility test result imageInfertility