For Health Professionals

For Health Professionals

Welcome to Africa Pelvic Pain Advocacy Network's dedicated page for healthcare professionals. Here, you'll find comprehensive information about pelvic pain in the health sector, along with guidelines to provide the best care for patients with pelvic pain caused by different conditions.

Understanding Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is a complex and often challenging condition for both patients and healthcare providers. Understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment options is crucial to offering the best care possible.

The Impact of Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain can significantly affect a person's quality of life. It can stem from various sources, including gynecological, urological, gastrointestinal, or musculoskeletal issues. As a healthcare professional, being aware of these different sources is essential in providing accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Diagnostic Tools and Strategies

We provide insights into the latest diagnostic tools and strategies for identifying the root causes of pelvic pain. Stay up-to-date with the most effective diagnostic procedures, from imaging techniques to laboratory tests.

Treatment Approaches

Discover evidence-based treatment approaches that can alleviate pelvic pain and improve your patients' well-being. Learn about medical, surgical, and holistic therapies, and their suitability for different cases.

Patient Care Guidelines

Our guidelines are designed to help you provide comprehensive care for patients with pelvic pain. They cover everything from initial assessments to long-term management, ensuring that your patients receive the best possible care.

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The Role of Laparoscopy

A laparoscopy is an excellent tool for removing endometriosis or for hysterectomy in older women with dysmenorrhoea. However, repeated laparoscopies increase the risk of exacerbating central sensitisation and surgical complications. Without specific indications for repeat laparoscopy, non-surgical options are preferred, at least in the first instance. Where abnormalities are found at laparoscopy, these may or may not be the major cause of the current pain. Many causes of pain cannot be ‘seen’ at laparoscopy, and endometriosis is only one (albeit important) aspect of PPP.

Although photographs from the patient’s laparoscopy can be used positively to illustrate the parts of her pelvis that are normal or where ovaries are normal, fertility is unlikely to be severely affected.

The Role of Opioid Analgesics

Regular opioid use became popular with the rise of palliative care, where the patient’s condition was terminal. In patients with benign long-term pain, the development of dependence with regular use is common and the use of opioids should be discouraged.

There is increasing evidence that opioids sensitise nerve pathways when used regularly.21 Darnell outlines the gender-specific risks and consequences of long-term opioid therapy in women.22 By contrast, nerve pathway (neuropathic) medications are more effective, can be used long term and may help avoid the use of opioids.