In reply: We are pleased to see our article about chronic pelvic pain in Australian women has provoked interest.1 Black’s suggestion that virtually every normal physiological event that occurs within a woman’s pelvis is associated with pain is surprising, and not supported by our evidence. Of the women in our sample, 23% were totally pain free, and most of the chronic pelvic pain reported was mild. A parallel study showed that men also suffered chronic pelvic pain — a smaller proportion than women, but still significant.2 We are not medicalising normal events; rather, we are alerting general practitioners to the normal range of pelvic pain experience to help them assess its clinical significance. A GP who says to a female patient “it’s normal, love, just grin and bear it” denies the psychosocial complexity of her experience.
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