Pelvic Pain Disorders

Pelvic Pain Disorders Are Prevalent in Both Women & Men

Due to the sensitive nature of pelvic disorders, it is believed they are significantly underreported and may be more common than the research currently suggests. Pelvic pain may be in multiple areas including the lower abdomen, perineum, vulva/vagina (females), testes or penis (men), rectum or anus, or the tailbone. Back pain, bladder, bowel, sexual pains, are also common.

  • Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP): Experienced by men and women, Chronic Pelvic Pain (CPP) is categorized by any pelvic pain that lasts for a period of 6 months or longer. 90% of people with CPP report dyspareunia (painful intercourse).
  • Dyspareunia (Painful Intercourse): Several studies have reported that 30 percent of U.S. women suffer from dyspareunia. The onset of sexual pain can come at all ages, and for a multitude of reasons. For many young women, sexually transmitted diseases can cause vaginal disorders and lead to pain. For new moms, pain after obstetric trauma is very common. Significant hormonal changes experienced during menopause and many cancer treatments commonly lead to vaginal dryness, thinning of the vaginal walls and thus, difficulty with penetration. Dyspareunia is common, and is one of the most frequent gynecologic complaints.
  • Pudendal Nerve Entrapment: The pudendal nerve is a sacral nerve that dives through the buttock and hip region on both sides of the body. This is a nerve that affects bowel, bladder and sexual function. Entrapment or irritation of this nerve can cause an array of symptoms including deep pelvic/ hip/ buttock pain, as well as bladder or bowel urgency, tightening or spasms of the pelvic muscles, vulvar pain, painful intercourse, extreme pain or difficulty with sitting, and many other related disorders.
  • Vulvar Pain/ Vulvodynia: Defined by the International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease, vulvodynia is a vulvar burning pain occurring in the absence of relevant visible findings or a specific, clinically identifiable neurologic disorder. This disorder is plaguing as many as 3-18% of women, according to recent studies, but most experts believe this percentage is significantly underestimated.
    Although the name literally means pain (-dynia) in the vulva, this simplistic name, Vulvodynia, accommodates a very complex diagnosis. The burning experienced with this disorder can be provoked (as with an insertion of a tampon or intercourse), unprovoked, or both. As vaginal burning is a common symptom of several different conditions, physicians must first rule out infection or other vulvo-vaginal disorders. Sometimes these vulvar disorders, uro-genital infections or dermatologic problems can even cause nerve hypersensitivity leading to vulvodynia.
  • Vestibulitis or Vulvar Vestibulitis is often categorized as a form of Vulvodynia that specifically causes burning pain in the vestibular region (entrance to the vagina).
  • Vaginismus: Vaginismus is a condition in which involuntary contractions of the muscles surrounding the vagina (pelvic floor muscles) occur during attempted intercourse. Vaginismus can lead to burning or pain with intercourse and difficulty with penetration.
  • Proctalgia Fugax: Sometime called "levator syndrome", Proctaglia fugax is several rectal pain often characterized by spasming of the muscles surrounding the rectum.
  • Erectile Dysfunction (ED): Erectile Dysfunction is very prevalent affecting millions of men in the US. It is defined by the inability to achieve or maintain an erection during intercourse. It can be caused by poor blood flow to the penis, spinal problems, other illnesses (such as diabetes, MS, stroke) nerve related injuries, or surgical scarring.
  • Coccydynia (tailbone pain): Coccyx (tailbone) pain can be experienced after trauma to the coccyx from falling, spinal injury or injury sustained during childbirth or can have an unknown cause in many cases.