Pelvic pain is an uncommon but significant problem in some women. Careful assessment of pelvic pain with a reasonable diagnosis and comprehensive treatment program is the first step toward relief and return to function.
- Nearly 15% of women aged 15-50 in the U.S. suffer from chronic pelvic pain
- 10% of all visits to gynecologists are for pelvic pain
- About 50% of women with chronic pelvic pain feel depressed and less active.
- Over 60% of women with chronic pelvic pain have not been provided a specific diagnosis
What you should know:
- The pelvic floor muscles act as a muscular sling that supports the pelvic organs and openings of the vagina and sphincters and can be injured or weakened causing pain
- Chronic pain can continue long after tissue injury has healed, and is often due to nerve and muscle problems.
- Musculoskeletal alignment problems with the pelvic bones including the sacrum and pubic bone can cause pelvic pain
- Gynecological conditions (endometriosis, ovarian cysts), urological conditions (urinary tract infections, interstitial cystitis) and colorectal conditions (polyps or colon cancer) should be considered as sources of pelvic pain and should be assessed as possible causes
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction and pelvic pain can become very debilitating
What you can do:
- NCCRM’s physicians can evaluate you for pelvic nerve problems and/or pelvic floor muscle dysfunction from injury, previous surgery, labor and delivery related conditions, and other chronic pain states
- Treatment prescriptions may include:
- Ice and heat
- Physical therapy by an expert in pelvic floor therapy
- Education to isolate, recruit and strengthen the supportive pelvic musculature with an appropriate exercise program
- Electrical stimulation to assist with strengthening when moderate to severe weakness is present
- Biofeedback to assist with relaxing painful, hyperactive muscles
- Pain medications and injections to treat inflammation, muscle spasms and nerve pain
Since I was 14 years old, I have had severe pain in my pelvic area. The first doctor I saw put me through test after test, finally reaching the decision that the pain was caused by an ovarian cyst and that I needed to have surgery immediately. My father called Dr. Toma that same week to ask him for his expert opinion. Dr. Toma instantly suggested I had another MRI and told us to wait for those results before doing anything. We received the results the day before I was scheduled for surgery, Dr. Toma told us that I did not need to have surgery to remove the cyst and most definitely did not need to have my ovary removed.
Then when I was 19 year old, after seeing two different doctors and trying various medicines to control the pain, my doctor told me I had endometriosis. He said in order for me to have the pelvic pain completely go away, I would need to have surgery. Once again we called Dr. Toma to see what he thought. After filling him in, Dr. Toma immediately scheduled an appointment to see me that same week. In that appointment Dr. Toma told us what no other doctor had told me before. He said, “We are going to try every option possible before surgery; surgery is a last result for any patient, but especially for someone as young as you. We are not even close to needing surgery.”
From that day forward Dr. Toma has been my one and only doctor. He has followed through on everything he told me that day. I have been on the same medicine for almost two years and it has completely eliminated the pain I was having daily. He has not only saved me from having potentially life changing surgeries twice and he was able to find a solution that works for me. Another reason Dr. Toma is that best in his field is because of how much he truly cares for each of his patients. – Mary L.