Newswise — BOSTON (FEB. 18, 2021) – Approximately 10 percent of the U.S. population struggles with chronic pelvic pain syndrome, or pain within the lower abdomen and/or between the hips that lasts six months or more, impacting both men and women – many of whom suffer in silence and lose hope. A new book offering advice to patients with chronic pelvic pain syndrome, titled, “Facing Pelvic Pain: A Guide for Patients and Their Families,” seeks to provide patient education and restore hope to those who have struggled to find the causes of – and relief from – pelvic pain. This 2021 book features careful advice from leading specialists within 18 fields (urology, gynecology, gastroenterology, colorectal surgery, orthopedics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical therapy, pain management, psychology, sex therapy, basic science, education, rheumatology, vascular surgery, pharmacology, neurology, and neurosurgery), “Facing Pelvic Pain” is the first-of-its kind to span the depth and breadth of common – and less common – causes of pelvic pain, including endometriosis, testicular pain, bladder pain and pain with intimacy.

“Historically, many men, women and children may have been told their pelvic pain is in their head, while others have been misdiagnosed or simply could not find help and suffered needlessly for years until the correct diagnosis was made,” says Elise De, MD, staff urologist, Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Urology and the Center for Pelvic Floor Disorders and co-editor of “Facing Pelvic Pain.” “Our book offers vital information to help patients understand the often hidden or layered causes of their pelvic pain; regardless of whether it is a new problem or if you have not responded to therapy, we hope the book opens new doors worthy of exploration on your own and with your care providers.”  

“Facing Pelvic Pain” is divided into 21 chapters discussing gynecological, urological, gastrointestinal, neurological, musculoskeletal, rheumatologic, vascular, and bone and ligament problems leading to pelvic pain. Each chapter is written by experts in their respective field, compassionately guiding patients through diagnosis, testing and treatments. The book further reviews the successful role that pelvic floor physical therapy often plays in the recovery from pelvic pain as well as minimally invasive treatments that can reduce nerve pain and medication use. Systemic pain impacting multiple areas of the body – often most difficult to diagnose and treat – is reviewed at length.

“We have the opportunity to do so much more for our patients than simply treat the disease,” says Ted Stern MD, chief emeritus of the Avery D. Weisman Psychiatry Consultation Service within the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, leader of the “Facing” series of books published from the MGH Psychiatry Academy and co-editor of “Facing Pelvic Pain.” “We can guide people on how to maintain and restore quality of life, as well as how to handle the stresses that accompany interruption of health. We’ve done this in similarly themed books, including “Facing Heart Disease,” “Facing Diabetes,” “Facing Overweight and Obesity,” and many others. Now it is time to help people with the intimate issue of Facing Pelvic Pain.”

“Many patients are stunned to learn that their bladder, prostate, vaginal or bowel pain can be the result of an injury or trauma to their pelvis,” adds De. “An abnormality in the hips, sacroiliac

joint, tailbone, knees, or feet can contribute to long-term muscle dysfunction and pelvic pain.”

The book provides an empathic view on the many ways pain can be treated as well as the anxiety that often accompanies chronic pain. It further explores intimacy and family relationships in depth, as well as how patients can find the best support. It provides methods to “use the brain to control the pain”.

One additional unique feature is the Facing Pelvic Pain Treatment Map, an in-depth survey allowing both patients and providers to comprehensively assess pelvic pain. This is a resource for any practicing clinician that will help them rule out the more rare or unusual triggers of pelvic pain and to track and communicate what can be a complex treatment course.

Information about the book can be found at, including free downloads of the Treatment Map and educational videos for patients and providers, and links to the book, which is available at Amazon on Kindle and in print.



Expert Interviews: 

We welcome the opportunity to discuss any pelvic pain condition, including: endometriosis, neuropathy, interstitial cystitis, post-vasectomy pain, irritable bowel syndrome, PTSD and pelvic pain, causes of pelvic pain, impact of pelvic pain on quality of life, living with chronic disease, myofascial pelvic pain syndrome, physical therapy and pelvic pain, sex and pelvic pain, as well as coping with pelvic pain.  

Dr. Elise J.B. De Co-Editor

Associate Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Staff Urologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Urology and the Center for Pelvic Floor Disorders

Director of Neurourology Services at Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Chair, Education Committee, International Continence Society

Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Urology

Dr. Theodore A. Stern, Co-Editor

Chief Emeritus, Avery D. Weisman Psychiatry Consultation Service, 

Director, Thomas P. Hackett Center for Scholarship in Psychosomatic Medicine, 

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts; 

Ned H. Cassem Professor of Psychiatry in the field of Psychosomatic Medicine/Consultation, Harvard Medical School


Additional Information:

Official Website:

Treatment Map:

Voiding Diary:

Provider Networks:


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Newswise: “Facing Pelvic Pain: A Guide for Patients and Their Families” offers in-depth discussion of chronic pelvic pain syndrome & hope for patients



Newswise: “Facing Pelvic Pain: A Guide for Patients and Their Families” offers in-depth discussion of chronic pelvic pain syndrome & hope for patients