Pudendal neuralgia

Pudendal neuralgia is long-term pelvic pain that originates from damage or irritation of the pudendal nerve – a main nerve in the pelvis.

The pudendal nerve supplies areas including the:

Pudendal neuralgia can be very uncomfortable and distressing, but help is available.

Symptoms of pudendal neuralgia

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:

When to get medical advice

See your GP if you have persistent pelvic pain.

Do not 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 pudendal neuralgia can also have a significant impact on your physical and mental health if it's not treated.

Tests for pudendal neuralgia

Your GP will ask about your symptoms and may examine 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

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.

Causes of pudendal neuralgia

Pudendal neuralgia can happen if the pudendal nerve is damaged, irritated or trapped.

Possible causes include:

In some cases, a specific cause is not found.

Page last reviewed: 3 May 2019
Next review due: 3 May 2022