What is pudendal neuralgia?
- Pudendal neuralgia is a painful condition that can affect men and women. It occurs when the pudendal nerve gets entrapped (pressed on) or irritated.
- It can cause pain in the vaginal area or the penis/scrotum as well as the rectum.
- It can also affect your ability to urinate or have bowel movements.
- Some known causes of pudendal neuralgia are excessive cycling, trauma during childbirth, surgery in the pelvic area, and sudden weight loss.
The pudendal nerve is a peripheral nerve that plays a very important role in your pelvis. It helps control continence (urinary and bowel function) and also the muscles of the pelvic floor. It also gives sensation to the male and female genitalia.
What is a pudendal nerve block?
- A pudendal nerve block is a nerve block that targets the pudendal nerve.
- Your provider may use ultrasound or x-ray to perform the injection.
- Relief may last days to years.
- This allows you to focus on physical therapy and home exercises to strengthen and stabilize the muscles or surrounding area.
- You will remain awake and aware during the procedure.
- Most people can walk around immediately after. You will be monitored for a period of time, and may need a ride home.
- You may resume full activity the next day.
- Mild bruising and soreness around the injection site may occur.
- Applying ice for a few days may reduce inflammation and pain
- Recording pain levels for a few days or weeks may help to track the level of relief achieved
- Potential risks with inserting a needle include bleeding, infection, allergic reaction, and nerve damage (rare).
- Very rarely after a pudendal nerve block urinary incontinence (loss of urine) can occur. This is temporary and should resolve within a few hours.
- Please notify the provider if the injection site becomes infected (fever or drainage at the injection site) or inflamed (redness, swelling, pain at the site), or if you suspect nerve injury.
Who should consider a pudendal nerve block?
- If you have pain in the genital area, talk to your provider about this option