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Is pudendal neuropathy a permanent lifechanger?

By Anonymous April 1, 2013 - 7:37am
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I was diagnosed with pudendal neuropathy by my ob-gyn after a fall on ice that resulted in a hairline fracture on my sacrum. After seven weeks, I still have numbness and pinching sensations in my vulva and anus. I bought compression stockings so I could stand more, and a donut pillow for the times I must sit out of necessity. I have learned that, in addition to sitting, I should avoid bending, yoga, cycling, Pilates, stair exercise, and all other forms of movement that stretch the pudendal nerve.

I had hoped to be better by now. I replaced the pain pills with Alleve, but am still experiencing numbness (including in my right buttock), pain, and discomfort. Is there a timeframe at which point I should be checked for pudendal nerve entrapment? If so, whom should I see for that evaluation, and how will it be detected/diagnosed?

Is this going to be a lifelong condition?

Thank you!

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Firstly, I'm very sorry to read of your accident; it sounds very painful. I'm glad you don't need heavy pain medication anymore.

With regard to your diagnosis, putendal neuropathy limits your activity  (as you mentioned). Treatment includes: 

Antidepressants or anticonvulsant medication may be given as these subdue the nerve’s ability to transmit pain.

Physical therapy to improve posture and muscle function may take the pressure off the nerve.

Self-help measures may be advised such as avoiding triggers (giving up cycling, weight lifting, sitting for long periods of time) and sitting on a U-shaped cushion to protect the nerve.

Pudendal nerve blocks use a mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid that are injected into or very near the affected nerve with the aid of X-ray or CT scan so the doctor can see where they are injecting and make sure it’s in the correct place. Steroids don’t have a great record for permanently curing people.

Anon, you can read a lot more here as well as nutritional tips and a link to a support group: http://www.empowher.com/sexual-well-being/content/genital-diseases-puden...

Entrapment can cause a lot of sexual difficulties so it's a very good idea to get that checked.

The best specialist for this condition would be a orthopedic doctor or a urinary system specialist or a combination.Neurologists and gynecologists can also specialize in this.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary. But don't despair, it can take some time for a full recovery. What has your current doctor told you about your prognosis? Were you give a timeline?

Ask to be put in touch with a physical therapist who specializes in this condition.

We hope to year back from you- and try to stay strong, even though this is emotionally very hard, as well as physically limiting and painful.  This is where a support group can come in handy.


April 1, 2013 - 1:03pm
(reply to Susan Cody)


Thanks so much for your quick response and very helpful info. I live in a town, not a city. I trust my ob-gyn, but want to gather as much knowledge about treatment options as I can. Your advice is thorough and thoughtful. My doctor recommends waiting 3 months from the accident before starting physical therapy. The web site you referred me to says that some P.T.s who specialize in P.N. live in Phoenix. I have a sister who lives there, so it isn't out of the question, but if one were available in western Montana, that would be preferable. It seems to be a rare (or at least rarely discussed) condition.

Thank you, Susan!

April 1, 2013 - 2:19pm
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