According to reports, 14% to 32% of women in childbearing age suffer from chronic pelvic pain. In addition to its complexity, pelvic pain is poorly understood, making it difficult to manage because of the variety of causes and conditions that can cause it. Health care teams that collaborate collaboratively are ideal. However, not every patient has access to one.
Chronic Pelvic Pain: What Causes It?
It is possible for pelvic pain to be caused by pelvic floor dysfunction, and it is also possible for pelvic floor dysfunction to cause pelvic pain. Our mental, physical, and emotional health can be negatively affected by chronic pelvic pain, which reduces our quality of life. A reasonable starting point for seeking care is to understand what the most common causes are.
Pelvic pain is commonly caused by the following factors:
Vulvodynia is pain that persists for 3 or more months without an identifiable cause. Burning, stinging, and throbbing sensations are common symptoms, causing discomfort while sitting, making certain clothing items off-limits, and making sex impossible. Depending on the severity of the pain, it may be constant or intermittent. If pain is felt at the entrance to the vagina, it is usually termed provocative vulvodynia or vestibulodynia if it is generalized and not triggered by touch.
A gynecologist, dermatologist, neurologist, and/or physical therapist should be consulted if you have vulvodynia caused by yeast or bacterial infections.
When someone has provoked vestibulodynia, nutritional and lifestyle modifications, oral medications, topicals, nerve blocks, physical therapy, and even surgery may be recommended.
As in vulvodynia, vaginismus is associated with symptoms of burning and irritation, however, the vagina becomes tight and can close, preventing penetration. Primary vaginismus occurs before puberty, whereas secondary vaginismus occurs later in life, such as after childbirth or trauma.
The condition of vulvodynia, as well as vaginismus, can be treated with a collaborative health care team. Muscle relaxants and Botox are among the different treatments available. Since standard treatments don’t work for everyone, individualized approaches are the most effective option.
Treatment for this condition typically includes psychotherapy, physical therapy, and relaxation techniques. In some cases, the use of sexy toys such as vibrators, vibrating rings may also be helpful in helping to relax the muscles and ease any pain or discomfort.
Diagnosis and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction
The pelvic floor dysfunction category often includes vulvodynia and vaginismus. Pelvic floor dysfunctions can also be characterized by dyspareunia (painful sex), high tailbone pain, pain in the pubic joint, and low back pain. Muscles in the pelvic floor attach to the sitz bones, the pubic joint, and the tailbone in order to close off the base of the pelvis. Our internal organs, spines, pelvises, and continence are all managed by these structures when working properly. Incontinence, organ prolapse, constipation, urinary retention, and incontinence are common when the kidneys fail to function optimally.
It is recommended to seek pelvic floor physical therapy as the first line of defense in the event of pelvic floor dysfunction. Having a strong, flexible, and durable pelvic floor is crucial. Manual techniques are used by pelvic floor therapists when muscles cannot relax or release tension. A pelvic floor therapist can assist you in strengthening weak muscles by guiding you through exercises. In addition to starting a pelvic floor physical therapy program once a year for a check-up, many pelvic health professionals recommend you care for your vulvovaginal health like your oral health.
Atrophy and dryness of the vaginal area
An onset of menopause can result in changes to the vulva and vagina known as Genitourinary Syndrome of Menopause. The vaginal tissue has become thinner and drier. Urinary incontinence increases as the vaginal walls narrow. In addition to being associated with menstruation, this can also occur after giving birth due to the loss of estrogen. It is also possible for women with PCOS and those who wear incontinence pads to experience vaginal dryness.
For vaginal dryness, local application of estrogen is an extremely safe and effective treatment. It is also safe and effective to use estrogen cream for vaginal dryness containing bio-identical estriol. In addition to preventing the walls of the vagina from narrowing, penetration sex can maintain blood flow and circulation, which are both necessary for lubrication. As well as preventing and alleviating incontinence, pelvic floor exercises can improve blood flow and strengthen muscles.
While your physician or naturopathic doctor is able to prescribe vaginal estrogen locally, pelvic floor physical therapy can make sure the muscles are working properly.
Endometriosis, a common condition associated with uterine-like tissue found outside the walls of the uterus, is becoming more widely known. Adenomyosis is a condition in which uterine-like tissue grows into the muscular walls of the uterus. The two conditions can also cause cramping and pelvic pain, as well as excessive bleeding, fatigue, and ovulation-related heavy bleeding.
Endometriosis cannot be cured. In many cases, diet and lifestyle strategies have helped people overcome Adenomyosis, despite hysterectomy being suggested as the only cure.
Physical therapy for pelvic floor dysfunction is highly recommended. By doing so, you can make sure that your muscles continue to function at their best. Moreover, they can prevent scar tissue from becoming another source of discomfort by preventing it from interfering with muscle function. Functional medicine, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, yoga, nutrition, and nutritional therapy have all been successful in alleviating symptom relief.
We need to take into account the skin surrounding the vulva as well when discussing pelvic pain. Inflammatory skin conditions such as Lichen Sclerosus tend to affect the genital region and can affect both men and women. Itching, burning, and tearing can occur on white patches of skin with a thinner thickness than other parts, especially during penetrative sex. Treatments such as topical steroids and vaginal dilators can help ease pain-free sex.
Dyspareunia is persistent or recurrent pain with sex that occurs before, during, or after sexual activity. Depending on the location, the pain can be felt externally or deeper within the cervix. A number of the above conditions can cause dyspareunia, but other things can also cause it, such as cancer, pelvic surgery, childbirth, and hormone deficiencies. It is possible to treat the root cause by treating a UTI, performing physical therapy to improve organ function and muscle position, and using vaginal estrogen and/or vaginal moisturizers to address hormonal changes if vaginal estrogen is not effective.
Chronic Pelvic Pain: How to Treat It
A person suffering from chronic pain, especially in the pelvis, might find it difficult to live a full and fulfilling life. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available to relieve this pain, providing hope and resolution for those who experience it. A common thread throughout is pelvic floor physical therapy, which is often the missing link for those who have suffered for an extended period of time. Google pelvic floor physical therapy and your city to find a pelvic floor physical therapist near you.