Pelvic pain in the adolescent
Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) has been defined as pain that occurs constantly or recurrently for 3 months or longer.1 Approximately 3% to 5% of all adolescent visits to a primary care provider involve abdominal pain.2 A vast number of conditions can cause CPP and it is important to consider nongynecologic sources including the gastrointestinal (GI), urinary, and musculoskeletal systems. CPP in the adolescent is complicated by the psychosocial and developmental changes that occur in this age group.2 Issues of privacy and confidentiality surrounding parental involvement must also be considered.
Aggressive diagnosis and management of CPP are important to avoid significant quality of life changes and a negative impact on future reproductive health of the adolescent. For that reason it has been suggested that evaluation begin if pain persists for 2 months.
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