In an effort to spread awareness and education about pelvic pain, May has been designated “Pelvic Pain Awareness Month” by the International Pelvic Pain Society. This means a lot to us at Maze because we see Pelvic Pain on a daily basis, and are always frustrated at how little is known about it in the medical community, and society at large.
While both men and women suffer from pelvic pain, the rates for women are thought to be twice as high as for men. A recent Gallop poll showed that 1 in 7 women between the ages of 18 and 50 suffer from chronic pelvic pain. In women, pelvic pain refers to symptoms arising from the reproductive, urinary or digestive systems, or from musculoskeletal sources. Depending on the source, pelvic pain can be dull or sharp; it might be constant or intermittent; it might be mild, moderate or severe. Pelvic pain can sometimes radiate to your lower back, buttocks, or thighs. You might notice pelvic pain only at certain times, such as when you urinate or during sexual activity.
Unfortunately pelvic pain tends to be one of those issues that medical providers often tell patients that “it is all in their head.” At Maze, we have treated hundreds of women experiencing pelvic pain, and we are often the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th place they have come for treatment. Many feel they were dismissed or told it was all in their heads by previous providers. There is no specific test or identifier to diagnose pelvic pain, so it is really important you see a practitioner who understands that pelvic pain is real, and can be treated.
Keeping track of your pelvic pain can be very helpful in educating your health care provider about the type of pain you are experiencing. When does it happen? Can you describe the pain? Is it stabbing, throbbing, cramping, etc.? Is there anything that triggers the pain? Is there anything that soothes the pain? Being prepared with what you are experiencing can be very helpful in understanding what is causing the pain, and helps you see patterns or perhaps notice what helps and what hinders it. The more we can help demystify pelvic pain and provide education and awareness, the more people suffering from pain will feel “it is not all in their head,” and get the medical care they need.
Learn more about all the Pain conditions we treat here at Maze.
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