Pudendal Neuralgia

an expert rundown of definition, symptoms, and treatment options

Pudendal neuralgia refers to long-term pelvic pain due to damage or irritation of the pudendal nerve. The pudendal nerve is the main nerve in the pelvis which lower buttocks, perineum
(area between the buttocks and genitals), and the genitals.

Symptoms of Pudendal Neuralgia

The main symptom of pudendal neuralgia is pelvic pain.

Some of the symptoms are described below:
- burning, crushing, shooting or prickling pain in the pelvis or genitals
- Numbness, like pins and needles in the pelvic area
- Increased sensitivity to pain
- Needing to go to the toilet more frequently or suddenly
- Pain during sex and difficulty reaching orgasm

Living with pudendal neuralgia often has significant physical and emotional impacts.
It can make it hard to walk/sit, socialise, work, have sex, and exercise, significantly affecting a person's quality of life.

Treatment options

Treatments for this condition vary from person to person and typically include medications such as medicines for nerve pain, lifestyle changes, injections, surgery, pelvic floor physiotherapy and psychological support.

A multidisciplinary approach that includes both physical and mental aspects of living with this condition (biopsychosocial approach) is the most effective as it targets all areas of your health .

Pelvic floor physiotherapy and Psychology

    Pelvic floor physiotherapy can help with pudendal neuralgia symptoms by relaxing the pelvic floor muscles and other muscles that can irritate the pudendal nerve, while psychological treatments can help to manage the emotional and psychological impact of the condition.

Femspace offer professionally guided self-help pelvic floor physiotherapy, psychological support and sex and relationship therapy.

In conclusion

Pudendal Neuralgia is a complex and often misunderstood condition, but recognising and treating it is crucial for those who may be struggling with its symptoms. People with Pudendal Neuralgia can benefit from a comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis, followed by a tailored treatment plan that may include medication, therapy, and lifestyle modifications.

With the right support, people with Pudendal Neuralgia can significantly improve their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

Hannah Barned

Reviewed by Dr Claudia Chisari