Gynecologic management of neuropathic pain

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Nov;205(5):435-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.05.011. Epub 2011 May 12.


Obstetrician/gynecologists often are the initial management clinicians for pelvic neuropathic pain. Although treatment may require comprehensive team management and consultation with other specialists, there are a few critical and basic steps that can be performed during an office visit that offer the opportunity to improve quality of life significantly in this patient population. A key first step is a thorough clinical examination to map the pain site physically and to identify potentially involved nerves. Only limited evidence exists about how best to manage neuropathic pain; generally, a combination of surgical, manipulative, or pharmacologic methods should be considered. Experimental methods to characterize more precisely the nature of the nerve dysfunction exist to diagnose and treat neuropathic pain; however, additional scientific evidence is needed to recommend these options unanimously. In the meantime, an approach that was adopted from guidelines of the International Association for the Study of Pain has been tailored for gynecologic pain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesia / methods*
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Decompression, Surgical
  • Humans
  • Nerve Block
  • Neuralgia / diagnosis
  • Neuralgia / drug therapy
  • Neuralgia / surgery
  • Neuralgia / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pelvic Pain / diagnosis
  • Pelvic Pain / therapy*
  • Physical Examination


  • Analgesics