Children's Hospital Colorado

Chronic Pelvic Pain in Adolescent Females (S3:E29)

Pelvic pain most often involves the gastrointestinal or urinary systems in prepubertal girls. However, during late adolescence, gynecologic conditions become more prevalent as etiologies for pelvic pain. Dysmenorrhea and noncyclic pelvic pain are common in adolescents, and management of chronic pelvic pain in adolescent females is often more complex than in adult women.

Listen to a pediatric gynecologist discuss chronic pelvic pain in adolescent females

In this episode, we will discuss how to diagnose and treat possible gynecologic and non-gynecologic conditions that can cause chronic pelvic pain in adolescent females.

Stephen Scott, MD, is the endowed chair of Perinatal Mental Health and a member of the Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology team at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Dr. Scott is also an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

In this episode, our experts discuss:

  • The prevalence of pelvic pain in adolescent females
  • The origin of pelvic pain; nerve signaling
  • The most common presentation of an adolescent female with pelvic pain
  • Gastrointestinal causes of pelvic pain
  • Specific questions that a primary care provider (PCP) should consider asking patients as they are trying to find a diagnosis
  • A recommended physical exam for girls with pelvic pain
  • Tests that a provider can do instead of a pelvic exam, such as bowel and urinary tests, abdominal ultrasound or CT scan
  • How to engage the patient and family in potential diagnostic workup or treatment choices
  • When a PCP should consider referring a patient to a pediatric gynecologist
  • Treatment options that a PCP may want to try before referring their patient to a pediatric gynecologist
  • Potential need for psychological counseling among some patients
  • The best way to follow up with patients who have chronic pelvic pain, including those who go off to college

Treatment of chronic pelvic pain at Children’s Colorado

Whether a child needs routine gynecological care or treatment for a problem such as chronic pelvic pain, the pediatric gynecologists at Children’s Colorado can help. Our pediatric gynecologists care for girls of all ages and treat conditions ranging from common to complex. We use a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach that is sensitive to the psychological and emotional needs of our patients and their families.