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Women's Health

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Certain factors predict chronic pelvic pain after pelvic inflammatory disease

One-third of women with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) suffer from subsequent chronic pelvic pain, according to a study supported in part by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS08358). As part of the PID Evaluation and Clinical Health (PEACH) Study, researchers assessed risk factors for chronic pelvic pain in a longitudinal study of 780 predominantly black urban women with suspected PID. Participants in the study had complaints of acute pelvic pain for less than 30 days, a clinical finding of pelvic tenderness, and indications of lower genital tract inflammation.

Certain characteristics predicted which women were two to three times as likely as other women to suffer from chronic pelvic pain after PID. Race, other than black, being married, a low SF-36 mental health composite score, two or more prior PID episodes, and smoking independently predicted chronic pelvic pain. The investigators suggest that recurrent PID can cause the formation of adhesions and indicate persistent, chronic infection or inflammation, all of which can result in chronic pelvic pain.

See "Predictors of chronic pelvic pain in an urban population of women with symptoms and signs of pelvic inflammatory disease," by Catherine L. Haggerty, Ph.D., M.P.H., Jeffrey F. Peipert, M.D., M.P.H., Sherry Weitzen, Ph.D., and others, in the May 2005 Sexually Transmitted Diseases 32(5), pp. 293-299.

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