How is pelvic pain diagnosed?

There are a lot of reasons why a woman may experience chronic pelvic pain, and if you feel that your pain is abnormal or outside of manageable period pain it is important to seek guidance for a doctor.

When you speak to a doctor about your pain, they will aim to diagnose the reason by:

  • Asking more questions about the pain and discussing health history. The way you describe the pain will help the specialist accurately determine the cause. It’s also important to discuss any conditions with which other family members have been diagnosed.
  • Performing a physical exam. The health care worker will perform a physical exam by taking a closer look at your muscles and tissues in the pelvic area. Tenderness and responses to the physical assessment can help determine a reason.

The responses and results will help the doctor determine whether more tests are required to determine a diagnosis. These tests include:

  • Lab tests including blood or urine tests.
  • Pelvic ultrasound using soundwaves to investigate organs surrounding the pelvic region.
  • Pelvic laparoscopy is a minor surgery to look inside the pelvic. It involves making a small incision under the belly button.
  • Pelvic MRI uses magnetic waves to create an image of the pelvis.
  • Cystoscopy looks into the bladder using a small instrument
  • Colonoscopy looks into the bowel using a small instrument

When to expect your diagnosis

Diagnosing the reason for pelvic can take some time, as certain pain can show up in several conditions. In the meantime, a specialist or doctor can help with managing the pain and offering specific treatment. Many will find benefit in using their doctor to support managing the pain.

Medications for pain

Some medications can be used to relieve pain while the patient gets tested. This includes:

  • Painkillers: Some pain can be managed and lessened using over the counter painkillers, but prescription painkillers may also be beneficial for stronger cases.
  • Hormone treatment: Some pain can be worsened with hormonal cycles, and if this is the case it may be relieved using hormonal treatments. Birth control and hormone medications are usually prescribed in this case.
  • Antibiotics: Infections like UTI will need an antibiotic to kill bacteria, and it can help relieve the pain while it clears up.
  • Antidepressants: Some antidepressants, such as tricyclic antidepressants, can be useful with pelvic pain.

Therapies

Physiotherapy: Stretching exercises and massage can help relieve chronic pelvic pain. A physiotherapist can also tailor a strategy to help manage your pain outside of the appointment.

Psychotherapy: If the pain is associated with depression it may be useful to combine physical treatment with other therapies. Personality disorders, crises and traumatic experiences may have a relation to the pain.

Trigger point injections: If you can locate the pain with your doctor, they may be treated with numbing injections that target the specific pain areas. This can block the pain for a period of time.

Neurostimulation: This works by implanting a device that blocks pathways that block nerve pathways sending pain signals to the brain. If you would like to know more about pelvic pain you can reach out on 1300 851 968.

OMNI Ultrasound & Gynaecological Care

Condous performs Advanced Endosurgery procedures for women needing intervention for pelvic masses, adnexal pathology, severe endometriosis or hysterectomy. He also runs ‘Hands on’ Live Sheep Laparoscopic Workshops for gynaecologists at Camden Veterinarian School.
Having completed an undergraduate degree with the University of Adelaide, he left Australia in 1993 and moved to London where he completed his training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. From 2001 to 2003 Condous worked as a Senior Research Fellow at St George’s Hospital, London. At St George’s he set up the Acute Gynaecology Unit, the first in the United Kingdom. It was also during this time that he developed an interest in Early Pregnancy and especially the management of pregnancies of unknown location (PULs). Condous has developed many mathematical models for the prediction of outcome of PULs which have been featured in numerous peer review journals. In 2005, he returned to Australia where he completed his Laparoscopic Fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Reproductive Endosurgery, Royal North Shore, Sydney.

Condous was appointed as a Consultant Gynaecologist and Senior Lecturer at Nepean Hospital in 2006 and soon was made Associate Professor. In 2010, he was made Departmental Head of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Nepean Hospital. He obtained the MRCOG in 1999 and was made FRANZCOG in 2005. In 2009, he was awarded his Doctorate in Medicine (MD), University of London, for his thesis entitled: “The management of pregnancies of unknown location and the development of new mathematical models to predict outcome”.

Condous has edited three books including the “Handbook of Early Pregnancy Care”, published over 100 papers in international journals and is internationally renowned for his work in Early Pregnancy. He is the Associate Editor for Gynaecologic Obstetric Investigation, which is a European based journal, as well as the Australasian Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine (AJUM). He is on the organising committee and is an invited speaker at the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISUOG) Scientific meeting in Sydney 2013. His current research interests relate to the management of ectopic pregnancy, 1st trimester growth, PULs and miscarriage and the use of transvaginal ultrasound (in particular sonovaginography, to predict posterior compartment deep infiltrating rectovaginal endometriosis).Condous is also actively involved with post-graduate education including the annual running of the Early Pregnancy and Gynaecological Ultrasound Interactive Courses for Sonologists, Radiologists, Sonographers and Gynaecologists in Australia.