Twenty-five women with chronic pelvic pain who had undergone diagnostic laparoscopy and 30 women who had laparoscopic examinations for tubal sterilization or infertility investigation were compared psychologically using structured psychiatric and sexual abuse interviews. Results of the fiberoptic pelvic examination were rated independently using the American Fertility Society classification of endometriosis. Compared with controls, the patients with chronic pelvic pain showed significantly greater prevalence of lifetime major depression, current major depression, lifetime substance abuse, adult sexual dysfunction, and somatization. They were also significantly more likely than controls to have been a victim of childhood and adult sexual abuse. There were no significant differences in either the degree or type of pelvic disease between patients with pelvic pain and controls.