Programme no. 308-SY
Public Health
Pregnancy-related pelvic pain: Causes, consequences and management
Per Kristiansson*1, Tiina Lahtinen-Suopanki*2, Elisabeth Bjelland*3
1Public Health and Caring Sciences,Uppsala University,Uppsala,Sweden, 2Rehabilitation Center Orton,Helsinki,Finland, 3Health Services Research Unit,Akershus University Hospital,Oslo,Norway
* = Presenting author
Objectives: The main aim of this symposium is to identify consensus and disagreements about causes, consequences, prevention and management of pregnancy-related pelvic pain. We will start the work to establish a consensus report regarding preventive and treatment measures based on reliable evidence. Also, we aim to identify neglected research areas in the field and to plan future inter-Nordic research.
Background: Functionally disabling pregnancy-related pelvic pain affects one in five pregnant women and is a major cause of sick-leave in pregnancy. Most women that report pelvic pain during pregnancy experience regression of the pain postpartum. However, 2-3 % of all women still have severe pain one year later. In these women, the pain and disability likely have unfavorable consequences on somatic and mental health, and lifestyle. In addition, the pain may influence drug use, such as analgesics and antidepressants. Hence, it is an important women’s health issue.

During the past two decades, an increasing number of research reports about pregnancy-related pelvic pain have been published, many of these from Nordic researchers. Despite the recent research and the fact that the condition may have large individual and socio-economic costs, the etiology and pathogenesis of pelvic pain remain unknown. Also, few studies on the long-term prognosis after childbirth are available, and there is a lack of well documented preventive and treatment measures.

Although European guidelines regarding assessment and treatment of pelvic pain were published in 2004, these guidelines reflect the lack of reliable knowledge in the field. Our impression is that great differences regarding prevention and management strategies exist, across the Nordic countries and across health professions. Hence, we believe that it is important to facilitate research and to strengthen collaboration across geographical and professional borders.

Content: Examples of questions that will be discussed during the symposium: 1. The definition of pregnancy-related pelvic pain. 2. How prevalent is pelvic pain during pregnancy and how many women suffer from pelvic pain one year after childbirth? 3. What are the causal mechanisms? 4. Which factors influence the transitional process from sub-acute to chronic pelvic pain after childbirth? 5. Can we prevent pelvic pain from occurring in pregnancy? 6. Which management measures are the most effective during and after pregnancy? 7. Do clinicians in the Nordic countries follow existing guidelines?
Method: We plan to gather researchers and clinicians from different health professions from all of the Nordic countries in the field of pregnancy-related pelvic pain for discussions, to review the status of knowledge and to plan future research and collaboration.
Other considerations: No other considerations