Evidence lacking to support surgery for pelvic pain

Research Activities, March 2012, No. 379

Despite the extensive use of invasive surgical procedures to treat women with noncyclic chronic pelvic pain, little evidence supports a surgical approach, according to a new research review from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality�(AHRQ). No surgical approach was found to be superior to a nonsurgical or comparative surgical approach. While the prevalence of noncyclic (not occurring during menstruation) chronic pelvic pain rivals other widely studied conditions, there is little research assessing therapies, particularly nonsurgical interventions.

The report, Noncyclic Chronic Pelvic Pain Therapies for Women: Comparative Effectiveness produced by AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program, summarizes evidence on the benefits and harms of surgical and nonsurgical treatments for women over the age of 18 with noncyclic chronic pelvic pain. Given the lack of high-quality evidence, future research is needed to investigate and compare the effectiveness of surgical, pharmacologic, and nonpharmacologic therapies to better understand the causes of the condition and standardize terminology, definitions, and diagnostic approaches.

You can read and download the full review and other publications from AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program Web site. 

Page last reviewed March 2012
Internet Citation: Evidence lacking to support surgery for pelvic pain: Research Activities, March 2012, No. 379. March 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/mar12/0312RA24.html