Pain where no cause is found during investigations
What can be done for my pelvic pain if no cause is found?
No visible cause for pelvic pain is found at laparoscopy in up to 40% of cases. When a cause cannot be found, the pelvic pain team appreciates that this can be very frustrating but they will try one or more ways to help relieve your pain and help you cope with it. This does not mean that the pain is not real or is ‘in your head’. Scientists are learning more about the role of the nervous system in persistent pain. There may be nothing medically untoward requiring treatment found at laparoscopy, or during other investigations, but this does not mean that you are not experiencing pain. It is then likely that there is a problem with the pain system. The leaflet Understanding Pain provides you with more information regarding this:
The EXPPECT Pelvic Pain Team may recommend a medicine or hormonal therapy to try to relieve your painful symptoms. For example, some drugs that have traditionally been used for conditions such as epilepsy or depression have been found to change the way the pain pathways process pain, when used for this purpose these medicines are called “pain modifiers”. There is a Pain Psychologist working in the team who can help you to develop the pain management skills you have. In addition, the team may also suggest pain management strategies such as physical therapy, changes in your diet, acupuncture, or exercise to help with your pain.
Living with persistent pelvic pain is often stressful and can cause low mood. The EXPPECT Pelvic Pain Team don’t ask about stress and low mood because we think these things cause pelvic pain. We ask because there are lots of the chemicals released during episodes of high stress (adrenaline and cortisol) and this influences the pain system and can increase pain intensity. Likewise endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers) are released when we are relaxed and happy. Treatment for low mood can help reduce the intensity of pain experienced.