Intimate Wellness Institute

What is pelvic pain?

Although pelvic pain often refers to pain in the region of women’s reproductive organs, it can be present in all sexes and can stem from other causes including the muscles, nerves and connective tissue. Pelvic pain might be a symptom of infection or arise from pain in your pelvic bone or non-reproductive internal organs. In women pelvic pain can very well be an indication that there might be a problem with one of the reproductive organs in their pelvic area (uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix and vagina). The other causes, however, are also common and often overlooked. IWI takes a holistic approach to the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic pain to ensure accuracy and relief from the problem.


What causes pelvic pain?

There are many reasons why you may develop pelvic pain, including:

  • Bladder disorders (such as urinary tract infections).
  • Sexually transmitted infections.
  • Kidney infection or kidney stones.
  • Intestinal disorders (such as diverticulitis or colitis).
  • Nerve conditions (such as pinched nerves of your spine or pelvis).
  • Hernia.
  • Pelvis Floor Disorders (such as tightness and spasm of pelvic muscles).
  • Broken pelvic bones.
  • Psychogenic pain (pain related to stress or psychological traumas from the past).
  • Possible pelvic pain causes in women include:
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
  • Ovulation.
  • Menstrual cramps.
  • Ovarian cysts or other ovarian disorders.
  • Uterine fibroids.
  • Endometriosis.
  • Cervical cancer.
  • Uterine cancer.
  • Ovarian cancer.

What are the symptoms related to pelvic pain?

Pelvic pain may be accompanied by other symptoms or warning signs. Some of the most common pelvic pain symptoms include:

  • Vaginal bleeding, spotting or discharge.
  • Menstrual pain.
  • Dysuria (painful urination).
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Bloating or gas.
  • Rectal bleeding (bleeding when you poop).
  • Pain during sex.
  • Fever or chills.
  • Hip pain.
  • Pain in your groin area.


How is pelvic pain diagnosed?

When diagnosing the cause of pelvic pain, Dr. Guerette and the IWI team will review your symptoms and medical history. A specialized physical exam and other tests following a strict protocol are performed to help determine the exact location and cause of your pelvic pain. The pelvis has many organs and structures in a small area. IWI will take the time a care to determine the root cause.

Some diagnostic tools might include:

  • Blood and urine tests.
  • Test to evaluate bladder and rectal function.
  • Pregnancy tests in people of reproductive age.
  • Vaginal cultures.
  • Abdominal and pelvic X-rays.
  • Laparoscopy (a procedure allowing a direct look at the structures in your pelvis and abdomen).
  • Hysteroscopy (a procedure to examine your uterus).
  • Stool sample to check for signs of blood in your poop.
  • Lower endoscopy (insertion of a lighted tube to examine the inside of your rectum and colon).
  • Ultrasound (a test that uses sound waves to provide images of internal organs).
  • CT scan or MRI of your abdomen and pelvis (scans that uses advanced imaging and computers to produce cross-sectional images of your body).

How is pelvic pain treated?

The treatment of pelvic pain depends on several factors, including cause, intensity and frequency of pain. Common pelvic pain treatments include:

If the pain involves your internal organs:

Medicine. Sometimes, pelvic pain is treated with drugs, including antibiotics, if necessary.

Surgery. If the pain results from an issue with one of your pelvic organs, the treatment might involve surgery or other procedures.

If the pain involves your nerves, muscles or connective tissue:

Dr. Guerette and IWI specialize in advanced treatments for pelvic pain conditions related to the pelvic floor and the nerves and muscles or the pelvis. Some of these common conditions include vaginismus, high-tone pelvic floor disorder, pudendal neuralgia and persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD).

Advanced Physical therapy. IWI has advanced physical therapy options including a revolutionary chair called Emsella that provides drastic improvement by simply sitting on a chair, fully clothed with no pain and no recovery.

Emsella Therapy: EmsellaTM Advanced Pelvic Floor Therapy: Emsella is a FDA-approved revolutionary treatment for pelvic muscle and nerve issues. The BTL EMSELLA treatment uses High Intensity Focused ElectroMagnetic Energy (HIFEM) to treat ALL the pelvic floor muscles. These stronger pelvic floor muscles restore function and eliminate pain and enjoy normal daily activities. During each 28-minute session you sit comfortably on the Emsella chair while it generates thousands of supramaximal pelvic floor muscle contractions.  Each session is equivalent to doing 11000 pelvic floor exercises. The procedure is non-invasive, and you remain fully clothed throughout. No drugs are required and the most you will feel is a slight tingling during the treatment. With no recovery time needed you can leave immediately after each session and resume normal daily activity. The majority of people need a course of six sessions over a period of three weeks to see optimum results, with most people seeing and feeling results after just two or three treatment sessions.

Advanced injection Therapy: Dr. Guerette has developed protocols using anesthetic medication, Botox, steroids and other medications to isolate the pain and treat it in a safe, comfortable office-based procedure with sophisticated injection techniques.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP): PRP is a simple, safe office procedure to isolate growth factors from your own blood and place them into the damaged area to restore the collagen, elastin, nerves and blood vessels in the pelvic tissue to regain motion, comfort and normal sensation. There is no recovery to this procedure.

Laser and Radiofrequency (RF) Treatments: IWI has the most complete suite of lasers and radiofrequency treatments to treat pain related to the vaginal lining, vulva and muscles in the pelvis. These are revolutionary 5-minute painless treatments with no down-time that can successfully correct the issue and require only a quick touch-up treatment once a year. IWI is the only practice in the region too offer women is option.

Extra-corporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESW): Dr Guerette has pioneered the use of ESW to restore normal sensation, nerve function and blood flow to the nerves, muscles and other structures in the pelvis. This is a safe, painless office treatment with no preparation or downtime.

How can I treat pelvic pain at home?

If you have chronic pelvic pain, there are a few things you can do to ease symptoms at home. For example:

Take over-the-counter pain relievers. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can help reduce swelling that leads to pelvic pain. Acetaminophen can also ease painful symptoms.

Make time for exercise. Even though you may not feel like moving, exercise helps increase blood flow and may help reduce your discomfort.

Apply heat. Place a heating pad or warm compress over the area, or take a long soak in a hot bath.

Stop smoking. Tobacco products can inflame nerves and cause pain. Avoiding these habits can help relieve pain.

Take supplements. If your pelvic pain symptoms are due to vitamin or mineral deficiency, supplements could help soothe your discomfort. Talk to your healthcare provider before incorporating supplements into your daily routine.

Practice relaxation exercises. Yoga, mindfulness or meditation can help reduce stress and tension. As a result, chronic pain may be eased.

Discuss home devices that are available to treat and maintain improvement with the IWI team.