01 Jun Anonymous Musings: June 1, 2017
What is Chronic Pelvic Pain [CPP]?
“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.”
[Robert E. Lee]
This is a complex question for many reasons. For example, how does one explain something that is invisible, undetectable, silent and subjective? It doesn’t have a structure or a form, it doesn’t grow or multiply, and it cannot be seen on an x-ray or a scan. Looking at a person who has Chronic Pelvic Pain [CPP] gives no clues as to its existence, or to their suffering. It is there, but it is not there. The great Urological brains of the world struggle to come to terms with it – some even deny its existence. Yet it is real, mysterious perhaps, but nonetheless very very real, and no-one, I believe, should ever mock a pain that they haven’t endured.
The modern way of finding anything out is to Google it. There is now an abundant amount of information on the internet on Chronic Pelvic Pain, which in my opinion is an excellent development in coming to terms with the disorder.
When I was at the point of my deepest suffering some twelve years ago [around 2003-04], the internet was very different to what it is today. Google was just a fledgling search engine and it wasn’t downloading all websites to its database. The Google search engine software back then was nowhere near as efficient as it is today – and surfing the net with a dial-up connection [i.e phone line speed], as opposed to modern day broadband, was also a slow and tedious process.
Trying to find something definitive on how I felt was also difficult because I had no clue as to what was wrong with me, so I didn’t really know where to start, how to define it, and what to look for. Trying to find an answer without having the question was frustrating and disheartening. It felt at times I was looking for a particular grain of sand on a ten mile beach without knowing its size or color.
Ironically in the end, I got an incredibly important lead on the topic of Chronic Pelvic Pain from a random Google search on a cold winter’s night in July 2004; approximately 2000 days after my world had changed forever. It was the most significant discovery in my struggle to that point. Looking back, it was a defining moment in my life, and the start of a permanent healing process which is still continuing today.
Chronic Pelvic Pain is a debilitating condition, yet it is poorly understood. This is surprising because it’s estimated that 300 million people worldwide [approximately 4% of the world’s population], suffer with or are burdened by Chronic Pelvic Pain and associated dysfunction. Best estimates have the population ratios at one in five women, and one in twelve men.
These estimates indicate that approximately one million people are suffering the effects of Chronic Pelvic Pain in Australia alone. That’s enough people to fill the Melbourne Cricket Ground [MCG] ten times over. That’s ten consecutive grand final crowds affected with symptoms associated with Chronic Pelvic Pain.
What is sad is that most of these people are either going undiagnosed or being as subjected to ineffective therapies, unnecessary and often useless surgery, as well their potentially harmful medications, without any signs of pain relief or improvement to well being. Complicating matters further, on-set is different between the sexes is women, onset can be as early as 11 or 12 years of age [Pelvic pain in young women often associated with the initiation of their menstrual cycle and other associated conditions like endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue from the lining of the uterus is found in places outside of the uterus forming lesions which can cause great pain and discomfort]. However in men, the symptoms are more likely in early middle age, somewhere around 35-45 years of age.
Since Chronic Pelvic Pain crosses many streams of medicine and encompasses so many etiologies [origins], it makes the disease an extremely hard affliction to diagnose. Harder still is for the sufferer to describe it, or even come to terms with it, especially when it inexplicably becomes the most important thing in your life – with no rationale to substantiate its torment or existence.
In this chapter my objective is to focus on explaining and profiling what Chronic Pelvic Pain actually is by providing a list of its symptoms, and offering an overview as to its likely causes. I’ll also touch on popular theory with regards to treatments for the condition and I will also offer some explanation to the undeniable mind/body link.
At this point I would like to state that I am neither a doctor nor a medical practitioner – I have no formal education or training in medicine. I do have a Science Degree, but that’s in computing, so therefore I do not have the qualifications to approach the aspect of medical definition for Chronic Pelvic Pain from a strict pathological or clinical perspective – that’s for others way more academic and learned than me to ultimately do.
However, I am sufficiently versed to know that many forms, adaptations and variations of the condition can and do affect sufferers, and that my symptoms might only be uniquely me, yet symptomatic of the whole conundrum. The one thing I am certain of however is that one size does not fit all when it comes to Chronic Pelvic Pain. Ironically, it perpetuates as an immensely complex issue however my feeling is it has a common sense and natural explanation.
Therefore, my aim in this chapter is simple and straightforward – to give you the reader a general but concise understanding of the term Chronic Pelvic Pain by;-
a. Providing information derived from over 12 [twelve] years of reading and research on the topic, and
b. Providing narrative drawing on my own experiences as a long time sufferer.
I genuinely trust I go some way towards achieving those two slated goals whilst informing and entertaining you through to the last page of this story.
Chronic Pelvic Pain [CPP] can occur in both men and women. In broad terms, it is defined as any pelvic pain that lasts for more than six months.
The word comes from the Latin word poena, which means punishment or penalty, and in common usage it generally means any physical suffering or distress due to injury or illness and/or any mental or emotional torment.
This story details the life journey of one individual and is not intended to be a substitute for competent medical advice and or professional treatment. Some of the medical information contained in this story is not the original work of the author. As best as possible, original sources and web sites have been credited and referenced. Other than the personal account, this story has been adapted from information which is freely available to the general public.