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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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