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.
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.