You are here:  Articles > Are you suffering persistent pelvic pain?

Are you suffering persistent pelvic pain?

Persistent pelvic pain, or PPP, (previously known as chronic pelvic pain) may be felt all of the time or it may come and go. The pain can be felt anywhere below the stomach and into the pelvic area, and sometimes it may radiate into the abdomen, lower back and legs. 

Most often this pain begins as a cramping or “period-like” pain, with or without you actually having your period.

Over time this pain may worsen, and can be aggravated by normal bodily functions such as ovulation, urination, bowel movements, daily activities, and intercourse. Many women who experience persistent pain find that it negatively impacts on all aspects of their lives—relationships, work or study, mood and sleep, as well as affecting other physical parts of their body. 

Persistent pelvic pain is one or more of the following pain symptoms are present for six months or longer:

  • lower abdominal pain
  • lower back pain
  • pelvic pain
  • and vulvar/ vaginal pain
  • pain with intercourse
  • urinary symptoms (e.g. urgency)
  • bowel symptoms (e.g. painful bowel motions and constipation)

It is estimated that between 15 and 25 per cent of women in America and New Zealand experience PPP. Clinically though, we know this number is probably much higher and regularly under reported, or misdiagnosed.

How can Mater Health and Wellness physiotherapy help?

Mater Health and Wellness has experienced and dedicated pelvic floor physiotherapists available to support women with persistent pelvic pain. Any women experiencing or have concerns about pelvic pain are advised to make an appointment with an experienced pelvic floor physiotherapist.

Your pain can be treated with a range of therapies which include the myofascial approach—a form of soft tissue therapy that works on trigger points in the body. Treatment sessions are aimed at teaching and encouraging self-relaxation, postural stretches, restoring muscle tone and postural correction.

This may involve internal examination where appropriate and consented to, as commonly, tight pelvic floor muscles can contribute to PPP. The aim of the program is to reduce pain and improve your ability to manage your daily activities.

When to book a Mater Health and Wellness physiotherapy appointment

All women can experience PPP, ranging from adolescents (teenagers) to mature age women.

Due to the complex nature of pain, many reasons (and usually there is more than just one), can be contributing to, or aggravating your pelvic pain. You may benefit from a physiotherapy assessment if you’re experiencing pelvic pain when:

  • you are pregnant or postnatal
  • post gynaecological surgery
  • having intercourse
  • you have your period
  • using tampons
  • you have been diagnosed with endometriosis
  • experiencing bladder symptoms like pain or urgency
  • experiencing bowel symptoms like pain during or after emptying
  • experiencing long standing constipation or diarrhoea

Please call the Health and Wellness centre today to book your appointment.

For further information, please refer to the Pelvic Pain Foundation.


Level 1, Mater Corporate

Services Building

Raymond Terrace

South Brisbane Qld 4101