Female Urology - Pelvic Pain
Why Choose Us for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pelvic Pain?
Minnesota Urology has providers specializing in pelvic pain. We approach each patient with an open mind and feel that there are simple tests and strategies that can make a big difference in your life, even if you have suffered chronically. Many times a fresh perspective and conservative approach can make a huge difference. We offer safe, tested options that have been accepted by the medical and scientific community and are part of a holistic approach. We do not emphasize the use of surgery or untested procedures, even when patients are desperate and would be willing to take a chance on them. When needed, we will collaborate with other providers in order to come up with the best solution for your specific problem.
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About Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain includes pain or pressure in the area above the pubic bone (suprapubic region), bladder, urethra, and in the genital region. It also may include pain in the abdomen, lower back, hips, or legs. Many times, there are associated problems with frequent or painful urination, pain after urination, pain with intercourse, and problems with bowel or sexual function. It can frequently be associated with other conditions, such as interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel, vulvodynia, endometriosis, pudendal neuralgia, or prostatitis.
Who gets pelvic pain?
Anyone can have pelvic pain. Sometimes, it can be a sudden or temporary problem, and other times it can be a chronic condition that has a lasting and debilitating impact on day-to-day function and health.
How is it diagnosed?
We always start with a history and physical exam. Often, something specific (like the realtor who starting having problems after pulling a “for sale” sign out of the ground) has set it off. Other times, it may come about after pregnancy or pelvic surgery. Many times, we just can’t pinpoint the exact cause. The pattern, related factors, and activities that make it better or worse are all-important clues to what may be happening and how to approach the issue for you. During a physical exam, we often find a muscle spasm or tenderness, problems with pelvic and hip alignment, or other conditions that can be very telling. Urine tests for both bacterial and non-bacterial infections and cancer cells also can be useful. X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds all have a role in certain instances, but often these tests do not lead to a clear-cut diagnosis. Other tests such as cystoscopy, laparoscopy, and colonoscopy (telescope inspections of the bladder, intra-abdominal area, or colon) can be of some help, but often these tests show nothing of certain importance.
What can be done about it?
There are many options if you have pelvic pain. Sometimes simple things, such as physical therapy for pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, muscle relaxants, nerve stabilizing medications, and heat can make a great impact, even after unsuccessful surgery. There is often a reluctance to try these options when patients have been mentally prepared to accept even the most invasive options (“Take my bladder out if it would just take the pain away.”), but more major surgery is almost never the right solution. There are medications to help treat chronic pain that help to mute or filter out abnormal pain signaling within the nervous system. The use of opiates or painkillers is usually not a good strategy for coping with chronic pain, and if you need these, we are very strict about insisting experts who can detect or prevent addiction manage them in a pain clinic. In addition, we encourage you to seek support for your emotional and social needs as part of an overall coping strategy.
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Our urologists practice at a variety of locations throughout the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. Find the right physician and location today for your needs and make an appointment today!