Pelvic pain is surprisingly common among women, for fairly obvious reasons. The female body takes a lot of stress and damage among hormones, childbirth, sexual activity, menstruation, and menopause. Diagnosing your pain is the first step toward finding the proper treatment to help you live a better life with less pain.
Dr. Darin Swainston, MD, works with patients who experience chronic pelvic pain to help diagnose underlying issues and alleviate the pain. Comprehensive exams and a compassionate, understanding nature are par for the course here, as our goal is to increase your comfort and improve your life.
Do you suffer from chronic pelvic pain? While you may think surgery is your only option, that’s not the case. But determining exactly how to treat your pain takes research and evaluation.
Diagnosing chronic pelvic pain
In order to properly diagnose your pain, we will conduct a thorough history and medical examination. It may be uncomfortable at times, but it’s necessary that you are open and honest with us in order for us to correctly diagnose your pain.
We’ll begin with a standard gynecological examination and historical questions to determine factors that could contribute to your pain. Questions will cover your menstrual cycle, sexual activity, urination, defecation, current or previous medication, and so much more. We’ll also ask you to provide a “pain map” by pointing out exactly where the pain is localized, if it is, and ask you to rate your pain. It may seem like a lot, but being thorough in our investigation is the best way to get answers and help you feel better.
Common causes of pelvic pain
Although menstruation is probably the first thing that pops into your mind when you think of female pelvic pain, there are several conditions that can contribute to it. Some causes are reproductive, while others may stem from problems in other systems.
Reproductive conditions include (but are not limited to)
- Menstruation or associated problems
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroids
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Congested pelvic syndrome
Other conditions not related to the reproductive system include (but are not limited to)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Kidney or gallstones
- Ulcerative colitis
And, as if that weren’t enough, chronic pelvic pain may be caused by a combination of conditions that must be treated individually in order to provide full relief. In some cases, finding an underlying cause may be almost impossible.
Treating chronic pelvic pain
Chronic pelvic pain treatment is not one-size-fits-all. Although some patients may do well with physical therapy or pain medication, other patients may require surgical procedures to address the cause of the pain. After determining the cause, Dr. Swainston will work with you to create a custom, comprehensive treatment plan that will safely and effectively minimize your pain. We will work to increase your quality of life, while minimizing pain and help you to manage the pain on an ongoing basis. If at all possible, we will try to avoid surgery by often exploring other options before recommending that as a last resort.
When determining the best treatment options to take, we will also consider other aspects of your life that may hinder specific treatments. If surgery is found to be the best option, you may rest assured that you’re in goods hands. Our office uses a state-of-the-art procedure, including robotic assistance for surgical procedures such as lysis of adhesions, hysterectomies, and endometriosis. Our number one goal is your comfort and safety.
Surgery is risky, and Dr. Swainston will only recommend surgery if he feels it is truly the best option for your specific needs. We will also take the time to clearly and thoroughly explain your procedure, benefits, and associated risks and be with you every step of the way to help you make the most educated decision possible. If you have been experiencing pelvic pain for at least six month, don’t hesitate to call us today for an examination.