Pelvic pain can be acute or chronic and can be caused by any number of conditions. In primary care, nurse practitioners should be able to outline the basic approach to initial evaluation of and management of these disorders.
As you have learned in this unit there are many causes of pelvic pain. Select one of the causes of pelvic pain and describe the symptoms. Why and who would you refer this patient to for consultation? What are the steps to writing a referral and what is the NP’s responsibility for follow up?
Chronic pelvic pain can be defined as intermittent or constant pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis of a woman of at least 6 months in duration, not occurring exclusively with menstruation or intercourse and not associated with pregnancy. It is a symptom, not a diagnosis. Chronic pelvic pain presents in primary care as frequently as migraine or low-back pain and may significantly impact a woman’s ability to function.
Discuss the common causes of pelvic pain and who, when, and why you would decide to refer the patient for diagnostics and second opinions.