About the Foundation
About the Foundation
Pelvic Pain affects 1 in 5 women and 1 in 12 men at some time in their life – yet it is a condition that is rarely discussed. As most types of pelvic pain cannot be diagnosed with blood tests or scans, it is common for people with this problem to suffer from pelvic pain for years before finding the help they need. It is estimated that over 300 million people world-wide suffer from pelvic pain, and anecdotal evidence suggests this number is understated and growing rapidly.
Chronic pelvic pain is easily misunderstood – some even deny its existence. But for those people who live with pain every day, it can be a debilitating human affliction worthy of much more attention than is currently being provided. According to Enerst and Young 2019 report, Endometriosis alone costs Australia 7.4 billion dollars a year with an estimated lifetime value burden of $129,993 for one woman with endometriosis.
Chronic pelvic pain is a real, overwhelming, and complex condition. Chronic Pelvic pain can be caused by several conditions including endometriosis, prostatitis, vaginismus, pudendal neuralgia, irritable bowel syndrome, pregnancy related pelvic girdle pain, and persistent genital arousal disorder, just to name a few. To complicate things further, these conditions usually overlap with each other.
The Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia is a not-for-profit organisation formed to build a healthier and more productive community by improving the quality of life of people with pelvic pain. We realise that pelvic pain affects many people of all genders, ages, ethnicities, and social backgrounds. We aim to minimise the suffering and burden of pelvic pain on individuals, their families and the community through awareness, education, funding, support, and research. This website provides information for those affected by pelvic pain, their families, and their health care providers, regardless of income, location, or access to services.
A full copy of the Mission and Goals of the Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia can be downloaded using the Button Below:
The complexity of the condition may also be a contributing factor. A woman’s pain experience may include any or all of dysmenorrhoea, bladder dysfunction, irritable bowel, pelvic muscle spasm, vulvodynia, migraine headaches, fatigue, anxiety, low mood, poor sleep, premenstrual symptoms, pudendal or other peripheral neuralgias and postsurgical pain. This makes it complex to study.
The need for a body representing those with pelvic pain was first recognised at the National Pain Summit held at Parliament House, Canberra in 2010. The Pain Summit considered the needs of a wide range of Australians with pain and developed Australia’s first National Pain Strategy. However, it was recognised in 2010 that the special needs of those with pelvic pain had not been addressed.
In 2011, the Pelvic Pain Steering Committee in collaboration with Pain Australia and the Faculty of Pain Medicine, looked at ways of remedying this problem. Their report entitled ‘The $6Billion Woman and the $600 Million Girl: The Pelvic Pain Report’ consulted widely with health professionals and those affected by pelvic pain to outline the problems with current pelvic pain services and policies. It made recommendations on how these problems could be overcome. Since then, the extent of pelvic pain in men has also been recognised.
The Pelvic Pain Foundation of Australia has taken up the challenge of implementing these recommendations and representing the interests of those with pelvic pain regardless of age or gender.
In 2018, the PPFA developed the PPEP Talk® Program – explaining pain, periods and endometriosis to Australian teens across high schools in South Australia and Western Australia as a collaboration between the Federal Government and the State Governments. The Federal government has committed to match funding with any state who wishes to implement the PPEP Talk® Program into their schools.