Practical information to help you care for girls and women with pelvic pain
Thank you for your interest in the care of girls, women (and some men) with pelvic pain.
Resolving pain is one of the most satisfying areas of medicine to work in, but that doesn’t always make it easy. We realise that many health professionals feel ill-equipped in this area and find these consultations challenging.
We’d like to help you care for your patients with pain effectively, but also help you find satisfaction and comfort working in this area.
The following suggestions may help you to manage your pelvic pain patients more effectively, to improve satisfaction for both you and your patients. There is further information available from the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia at www.pelvicpain.org.au
– where possible, ask those with pelvic pain to complete a pelvic pain Questionnaire at home before their visit. This allows women time to consider their answers carefully and collect important information, including details of any previous surgery. Using a questionnaire allows you to understand the main issues quickly and completely so that you can focus on the areas that concern her most. A suitable questionnaire is available below.
Where a patient with complex pain consults you unexpectedly, it may be best to address only immediate needs at that time, provide information to read and the pelvic pain questionnaire and arrange another longer appointment on another day.
– encourage your patients to read about pelvic pain before their visit. The attached ebooklet is free and can be passed on to friends and family. It introduces the concept of different types of pain, a mix of treatments and encourages her to become an active partner in her health care.
– encourage your patient to bring a friend, partner or relative with them to their appointment. This improves communication, gives her someone to discuss your recommendations with after the appointment and involves her family in her care.
– make a list of symptoms at the first visit and manage each symptom over time. During review visits, the original symptom list can be reviewed to asess progress and identify problems that still require attention. The article below outlines a management plan you can use for your patients with pelvic pain.
– encourage her to be involved in her own care and learn more about pelvic pain. This website includes information that is free or low cost including the information pages and online purchase of the Pelvic Muscle Relaxation CD or Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain book which is much more detailed than the ebooklet.
– suggest that she LIKES us at Pelvic Pain News on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest in pelvic pain management and available resources
Most aspects of pelvic pain can be managed in general practice, and with maybe 1 Million Australians affected, it is General Practitioners who will see the majority of patients with pelvic pain.