Even typing the words “pelvic pain” sets my teeth on edge. I’ve treated so many women incapacitated by pain, with repercussions that go beyond fertility to the overall quality of life.
So if you are suffering from pelvic pain, what do you do? How do you fight the pain and get to pregnancy?
Pelvic pain is a symptom of something wrong. It’s a sign that you have a problem, and that problem may also be causing infertility.
I am a big believer in treating the whole patient, not just the fertility issues that present. Many women have pain, either during their cycles or all the time. That pain might be caused by the major diseases of infertility outlined above. It may be caused by some of the treatments you need to do to fight infertility – both surgery and medical interventions can cause short-term pain.
Stress can also make pain harder to take. I have found that pain makes it harder for women to make decisions, to endure their treatment, to get adequate rest and nutrition. That pain might also be an expression of childhood abuse, including sexual abuse. Your body might be holding the pain of the past and expressing it physically.
If you are experiencing any kind of pain, you need to analyze the cause, or causes of that pain. As always, it starts with a good history and initial work up, and the right tests administered to get an accurate diagnosis of what is causing the pain.
In addition to surgery, medication, nerve-blocking, counseling, alternative treatments like acupuncture and biofeedback, and physical therapy can all come into play when treating chronic pelvic pain. With pain, it is tempting to treat the symptom and not dig down to find the root causes. The pain is trying to tell you something. It is important to relieve you of the pain, and it can be a long road to finding the true cause of the pain and the best treatment to not just block the pain, but eliminate it.
In addition to the treatments that we have, it is also important to take care of yourself, lose weight that may be making the pain worse by making your body have to work harder in every aspect – walking, breathing, eating, fertility.
Please don’t give up if you suffer from pelvic pain. We can work together to find a solution.