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Airing Pain 88: What to EXPPECT When You’re in Pelvic Pain

We visit the EXPPECT pelvic pain clinic, where women share their experiences and advice for living with persistent bladder and pelvic pain

This edition has been funded by a grant from the Women’s Fund For Scotland.

Interstitial cystitis, a.k.a painful bladder syndrome, is a poorly understood bladder condition that causes long-term pelvic pain and problems with urination. The charity Bladder Health UK estimates that 400,000 people in UK live with the condition. Of them, 360,000 are women.

Anne Cameron, retired nurse and now coordinator for Bladder Health UK in Scotland, explains the varied symptoms and treatments available, and how certain factors can make the path to diagnosis far from smooth for some women.

Jen stresses the importance of support groups in alleviating feelings of stress and isolation, and Pat describes how she overcame her initial reservations to try different self-management techniques, including yoga and mindfulness.

Dr Shona Brown is a Clinical Psychologist and part of the multi-disciplinary team at the EXPPECT pelvic pain clinic in Edinburgh’s Royal Infirmary. She describes the impact of pelvic pain on patients’ emotional well-being and why it’s important to include a psychological approach in pain management programmes.

Issues covered in this programme include: Bacterial cystitis, bladder pain, EXPPECT clinic, fibromyalgia, IBS: irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, irritable bladder syndrome, migraine, mindfulness, pacing, pelvic pain, support groups, urogenital pain and yoga.


  • Anne Cameron, retired nurse and Scotland Coordinator for Bladder Health UK
  • Jennifer Hayes, pelvic pain support group member
  • Pat Brown, patient at EXPPECT clinic at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary
  • Dr Shona Brown, Clinical Psychologist at the EXPPECT clinic at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

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