Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is a prevalent but difficult entity to treat. Cannabis has been shown to significantly improve pain in several populations. There have been no studies on cannabis use among women with CPP. We aim to examine the prevalence of cannabis use in patients with CPP and hypothesize that CPP patients report an improvement in their pain symptoms with cannabis use.
Patients were identified via a medical record query of commonly used CPT codes for pelvic pain. Patients were contacted via phone then emailed an anonymous online survey. Setting: Tertiary care academic medical center.
114 patients who screened positive for CPP over the phone were emailed; 89 responded for a response rate of 78.1%. The prevalence of current use was 16.9% (14/83). Nine of fourteen (64.3%) current users reported using cannabis for CPP while 8/24 (33.3%) of previous users reported using cannabis for CPP; all 17 (100%) reported that it was helpful. The users who reported using cannabis for CPP reported an average reduction in pain by 5.9 points (P<.0001) and those who did not report using cannabis for CPP also reported a reduction in pain by 2.9 points (P=.0012). 71/82 (86.6%) respondents would consider being in a clinical trial of medical cannabis to treat CPP.
This study demonstrates that patients with CPP are self-treating with cannabis and finding this to be an effective intervention. Cannabis may serve as a future treatment option for females with CPP if found to be safe and effective. Clinical trials are needed.