For a condition that seems to affect so many, it’s surprising how little information we have on pelvic pain in Australia.
To get an idea of how many girls and women may be affected we can look at information from New Zealand and the USA. If Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP) is defined as pelvic pain on most days for more than six months, then it is estimated to affect 15% of American women and 25% of New Zealand women. If this is true, then it is more common than asthma (10%) or back pain (14%) in Australia. (Australian Bureau of Statistics Data)
Economically, pelvic pain is a burden to government, individuals and business:
- Pelvic pain is estimated to cost Australia more than $6 billion annually.
- Simoens estimates the reduced quality of life in women with endometriosis-associated symptoms treated in referral centres at 0.809 quality-adjusted life years.
- While many women still go to school or work with pain, their productivity at work is reduced. This is called presenteeism
Despite this, pelvic pain is not considered a National Health Priority Area in Australia.