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Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2013 Feb;35(2):84-9.

Irritable bowel syndrome in women with chronic pelvic pain in a Northeast Brazilian city.

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Hospital Antônio Prudente, Fortaleza, CE, Brazil.



To determine the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in women with chronic pelvic pain (CPP) and its associated features; to determine whether IBS and CPP constitute the same syndrome.


Cross-sectional population survey with systematic sequential sampling according to census districts in which 1470 women were interviewed with respect to the sample calculation. The participants resided in their own homes, were at least 14 years of age, experienced menarche and presented CPP according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The dependent variable was IBS based on Rome III criteria in women with CPP, and the following independent variables were possibly associated with IBS: age, schooling, duration of pain, sedentary lifestyle, migraine, depression, insomnia, back pain, dysmenorrhea, dyspareunia, depression, history of violence, and intestinal symptoms. The sample was subdivided into groups with and without IBS. After the descriptive analysis of the variables was performed, the respective frequencies were evaluated using GraphPad Prism 5 software. To evaluate the association between the dependent variable and the independent variables, the χ² test was used with a significance level of 5%.


The prevalence of IBS in women with CPP was 19,5%. Pain duration (p=0.03), back pain (p=0.002), history of physical or sexual abuse (p=0.002), and intestinal complaints were more prevalent in the group with IBS and CPP. There was no difference between the groups regarding other criteria.


The data confirmed the literature, identified several aspects that were shared between the pathologies and supported the hypothesis that both pathologies can constitute the same syndrome.

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