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JSLS. 2007 Apr-Jun;11(2):175-81.

The relationship between interstitial cystitis and endometriosis in patients with chronic pelvic pain.

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Washington Area Reproductive and Urogynecology Services, Reston, Virginia, USA.



This study was designed to determine the relationship between interstitial cystitis (IC), endometriosis (endo), and chronic pelvic pain (CPP) in individuals in whom nongynecological and nonurological problems had been previously ruled out.


A prospective study of 162 consecutive women with a complaint of chronic pelvic pain seen in the clinic was performed between August 2002 and December 2005. These patients underwent a workup to exclude other causes of pelvic pain, had PUF (Pain Urgency and Frequency) questionnaires filled out, and underwent a laparoscopy and a cystoscopy with hydrodistention. Pain levels were determined, and treatment was reviewed and enumerated. Results were obtained and quantified.


In this study, 123 (76%) patients were diagnosed with active endometriosis, 133 (82%) were diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, and 107 (66%) had both disease entities simultaneously. Thirteen (8%) patients were diagnosed with pathologies unrelated to endometriosis and interstitial cystitis. Pain levels were seen to decrease at 6 months in all groups of patients with the exception of those patients with endometriosis only.


CPP is a difficult, taxing, and frustrating concern for many women in the United States. These individuals have traditionally been difficult to treat. A large number of women with CPP in our patient population have been shown to have endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, or both. Therefore, a workup for premenopausal individuals with CPP involves obtaining a history that keys into possible nongynecologic causes of pain, a complete accounting of urinary problems, and a thorough history of gynecological problems. A physical examination with a comprehensive history should be performed, and the investigation may include the possibility of a simultaneous laparoscopy and cystoscopy if warranted. These procedures can serve as both a means for diagnosis and treatment of these problems when encountered.

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