Many women experience chronic pelvic pain, but have no known cause, causing frustration and even depression. The female specialists at WISH understand that although the cause of your pelvic pain may not be easily pinpointed, your pain is real. Pelvic pain is an integrated problem and your provider will perform a comprehensive work-up and extensive testing to rule out other pelvic conditions that may be causing your pain.
Chronic pelvic pain may be associated with other pelvic conditions include:
- Interstitial Cystitis (IC) or painful bladder syndrome
- Chronic bladder infections
- Pelvic adhesions or scar tissue from a prior abdominal surgery
- Dysmenorrhea, or painful menstrual cramps
- Levator Ani Syndrome, which causes increased tension of the pelvic floor
- Vaginismus, or excessive tightness of the pelvic floor muscles around the opening of the vagina in anticipation of pain, especially during sexual intercourse
treating chronic pelvic pain
While finding an exact cause of your pelvic pain may prove difficult, your provider can either treat a known medical condition that is causing your pain or treat the pain on its own.
- Physical therapy - working with your provider, a specially trained physical therapist can perform soft tissue mobilization of the pelvic floor muscles as well as relaxation techniques, pelvic floor muscle exercises and suggest exercises to improve poor posture
- If a diagnosis has been made, such as Interstitial Cystitis (IC), Endometriosis, a bladder condition or other cause of pain, your provider will prescribe the appropriate treatment for your diagnosed condition, which can include physical therapy
- If no known cause of pain has been diagnosed, your provider may begin treatment with pain medication including:
- NSAIDs - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen which can relieve pain caused by inflammation or menstruation
- Tri-cyclic antidepressants are occasionally used to help relieve pain
- Oral contraceptives can help reduce menstrual pain as well as pain associated with Endometriosis
- Depending on the cause or origin of the pain, your provider may recommend hysterectomy to relieve chronic pain
- Some women develop pelvic pain following placement of the mesh sling for treatment of Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). By removing the mesh sling, some patients have experienced improvement from pelvic pain
Sometimes, a woman's chronic pelvic pain remains a mystery and treatment can be a trial and error process. Your WISH clinician may try several treatments before finding one, or a combination, that provides relief.
*This information does not replace a provider consultation. You should schedule an appointment with your provider if you experience any of these symptoms.