Pudendal neuralgia is a type of long-term (chronic) pelvic pain that originates from damage or irritation of the pudendal nerve.
The pudendal nerve is one of the main nerves in the pelvis, supplying areas such as the:
Pudendal neuralgia can be very uncomfortable and distressing, but help is available and there are several treatments that can be tried.
The main symptom of pudendal neuralgia is pelvic pain . Any of the areas supplied by the pudendal nerve can be affected.
The pain may:
Other symptoms can include:
See your doctor if you have persistent pelvic pain.
Don't delay seeking advice if the pain is causing problems. Pudendal neuralgia can continue to get worse if left untreated, and early treatment may be more effective.
The stress of living with the condition can also have a significant impact on your physical and mental health if it's not treated.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and may carry out an examination of the area to check for any obvious causes of your pain.
If they think you could have pudendal neuralgia, or they're not sure what's causing your pain, they may refer you to a specialist for further tests.
These tests may include:
Treatments for pudendal neuralgia include:
You may be referred to a specialist NHS pain management team or pain management programme for support and advice about treatment.
Not all of the possible treatments are widely available on the NHS.
Pudendal neuralgia can occur if the pudendal nerve is damaged, irritated or squashed (compressed).
Possible causes include:
In some cases, a specific cause isn't identified.
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.