Women at every stage of life—from teenagers to the elderly—may experience chronic and even debilitating pelvic pain. For some, standard treatments, including major surgery, are ineffective. According to Maurice K. Chung, M.D., urogynecologist and director of the Mercy Center for Endometriosis, Pelvic Pain & Urogynecology, this can happen when underlying problems, which can be complex and difficult to pinpoint, are overlooked.
That’s what one 29-year-old woman experienced after three unsuccessful years of pelvic pain treatment, including two surgeries to alleviate severe cramps and bleeding and a complete hysterectomy. When the pain still did not subside, she requested an evaluation from Dr. Chung, who traced the source of her problem to an earlier injury that caused damage to her bladder, muscles, and nerves. Dr. Chung was able to reduce the woman’s pain significantly with medication and minimally invasive surgery.
Other symptoms Dr. Chung has effectively treated include severe menstrual pain, sexual pain, endometriosis, bladder control, and organ prolapse. According to Dr. Chung, viewing pain through a wider lens and identifying its source can help women avoid unnecessary surgery.
“Pelvic pain is often diagnosed as endometriosis,” says Dr. Chung. “But endometriosis accounts for only about 20 percent of all cases. When a woman comes to me with severe pain, I start with the least invasive treatment approach, as most instances of pelvic pain do not require major surgery.”
Pelvic Pain Should Not Be Ignored
Many women believe pain is normal or are told it’s “all in your head,” but Dr. Chung says pain, although commonplace, is real, not normal, and can take a toll on quality of life. Pain points to a problem and should not be ignored.
“I take all women’s symptoms seriously,” Dr. Chung says. “I start by engaging them in a conversation to understand every possible factor that could be causing their problem. I want them to know they are not alone. With proper diagnosis and a cautious approach to treatment, there is a good possibility we can alleviate their pain without drastic measures.”
Learn more about Dr. Chung and the Mercy Center for Endometriosis, Pelvic Pain & Urogynecology. To make an appointment with Dr. Chung, call 330-489-1379.