Can there be more than one reason for my pain?

Yes. Studies have found a good deal of overlap among pain conditions.1,2 For instance, a woman may have endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and depression at the same time—each of which may contribute to the overall pain she feels.

Having more than one pain condition can complicate diagnosis and treatment. To be effective, treatment needs to address all the conditions that are contributing to a woman's pain.


  1. Andrews, J., Yunker, A., Reynolds, W. S., Likis, F. E., Sathe, N. A., & Jerome, R. N. (2012). Noncyclic chronic pelvic pain therapies for women: Comparative effectiveness (Comparative Effectiveness Review No. 41). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
  2. Rodriguez, M. A., Afari, N., Buchwald, D. S., & National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Working Group on Urological Chronic Pelvic Pain. (2009). Evidence for overlap between urological and nonurological unexplained clinical conditions. Journal of Urology,182, 2123–2131.
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