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Chronic Pelvic Nerve Pain

Diagnosis, Symptoms and Treatment of Pelvic Nerve Pain

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Updated September 10, 2009

Chronic pelvic pain is not only a woman’s disease: it can be caused by nerve damage as well. Men and women alike are prone to chronic pelvic nerve pain, usually resulting from damage to one of the following four nerves: These nerves are present either in the abdominal wall, in and around the pelvic cavity and in the groin and perineal area. Damage to any of these nerves can lead to chronic pelvic nerve pain.

What Causes Pelvic Nerve Damage?

Pelvic nerve pain is caused by damage or dysfunction to pelvic nerves, which can happen through:

Chronic pelvic nerve pain is pain caused by pelvic nerve damage or dysfunction that persists for longer than the expected healing time, or is present for 3-6 months.

Pelvic Nerve Pain Symptoms

Like other types of neuropathic pain, chronic pelvic nerve pain is often described as burning or stabbing. It may come and go, or it may be fairly steady. Certain activities, such as sitting or lying down, may increase symptoms.

Depending on the nerve involved, people with chronic pelvic nerve pain may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain when sitting, relieved when standing
  • Pain that radiates to the external sexual organs
  • Pain in the perineum (think of this as the area that touches a bicycle seat)
  • Pain that radiates to the abdomen or the lower back
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain when urinating or having a bowel movement

Treating Pelvic Nerve Pain

Pelvic nerve pain can be treated with any of the following:

Some types of pelvic nerve pain, such as genitofemoral neuropathy, have a good treatment success rate. Others, such as pudendal neuropathy, may be more difficult to accurately diagnose and treat.

Coping with Chronic Pelvic Nerve Pain

Coping with any chronic pain diagnoses can be difficult, but because pelvic nerve pain is often misunderstood and difficult to treat, finding ways to cope are vital to increasing your quality of life. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

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  5. Chronic Pelvic Nerve Pain -- Types Treatments Chronic Pelvic Nerve Pain

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