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Relief From Chronic Pelvic Pain

Many women -- and their doctors -- never realize the mysterious pain they feel has a diagnosis.
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Dealing With 'Collateral Damage'

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, including stress management and relaxation techniques, has been used for some time to help patients cope with chronic pain. A new therapy, called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), helps patients process trauma.

The treatment involves having the patient follow a moving object with their eyes while talking about a traumatic event. "The best treatment is to get the brain to light up both sides. You need to activate the side of brain that has stored this terror. That's a new perspective."

Metzger says while some women with chronic pelvic pain get better and bounce back, others resist getting well. Their lives and family relationships are defined by chronic pain. She calls these dysfunctional relationships the "collateral damage" of chronic pelvic pain.

"It's hard when husbands have become so solicitous and helpful, Metzger says. "The relationship is more important than pain relief."

She empathizes with her CPP patients and advises them to email her when they need support and to find someone to talk to. "They've been through hell, and they can't get away from it, like getting away from an abusive husband. They need support."

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