Pudendal neuralgia

Pudendal neuralgia is nerve pain in the genitals, bottom, anus or pelvis. It can last a long time, but there are treatments that can help.

Check if you have pudendal neuralgia

The main symptom of pudendal neuralgia is sharp, shooting, burning or tingling pain (nerve pain) or numbness in your:

The pain may be worse when sitting down and may get worse throughout the day.

Other symptoms can include:


If you're not sure it's pudendal neuralgia

Find out about other conditions that can cause:

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • you have pain in your genitals, bottom, anus or pelvis that does not get better

How pudendal neuralgia is diagnosed

Pudendal neuralgia can be hard to diagnose because it's rare and the symptoms are similar to other conditions.

It's usually diagnosed based on your symptoms and by ruling out other causes.

A GP may refer you for tests to look for what's causing your pain. Tests you may have include:

Treatments for pudendal neuralgia

Pudendal neuralgia can be hard to treat. The treatment will depend on how severe your pain is and what's causing it.

A GP may recommend treatments such as:

If you have severe pain or it's affecting your daily activities, the GP may refer you to a specialist in nerve conditions (neurologist) or a specialist pain clinic.

Treatment from a specialist may include:

Things you can do to help pudendal neuralgia

If you have pudendal neuralgia there are things you can do to help with the symptoms.

A specialist may be able to suggest lifestyle changes that can help.


  • eat plenty of fibre and drink lots of water to help prevent constipation or pain when pooing

  • if you want to keep riding a bike, try using a different type of saddle to see if it helps your pain


  • do not sit for long periods – get up regularly and move around

  • do not wear tight underwear or trousers

  • do not do activities that make your pain worse such as activities that involve a lot of squatting, bending or lifting

Causes of pudendal neuralgia

Pudendal neuralgia is caused by damage to the pudendal nerve, which is one of the main nerves in your pelvis.

Possible causes include:

Sometimes it's not clear what causes it.

Help and support for pudendal neuralgia

If you have pudendal neuralgia you can get support from charities including:

Page last reviewed: 18 January 2024
Next review due: 18 January 2027