During their lifetime, nearly 40 percent of women suffer chronic pelvic pain, a loosely defined syndrome in which relief is often elusive. However, because roughly one-third of women with chronic pelvic pain also have a condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), researchers say treating the bowel condition may relieve many women’s pain. IBS is characterized by bloating, pain, constipation and diarrhea. Unfortunately, IBS often goes undiagnosed and untreated, says a report in Obstetrics and Gynecology. In a seven-year survey involving nearly 1,000 patients, researchers found 35 percent of the women met the standard criteria for IBS, yet 40 percent of them weren’t diagnosed with it. Of the women who were diagnosed with IBS, 67 percent didn’t get recommendations for IBS treatments from their doctors.