When You Can’t Sit Down, Might Just Be Pudendal Nerve Damage

Just can’t help but link to this song for today’s blog: Paul Revere and the Raiders’ “Can’t Sit Down.”

If you can’t sit down, it may be more serious than just that you’ve been listening to Rock ’n Roll, it may be that you have pudendal nerve damage. That problem may be your own trouble with pelvic mesh. Sitting down is one of the most basic functions of modern day life. We sit at work, during meals, while driving, going to the movies, using our computers, even reading to our children. It can be caused by bike riding (Cyclist’s Syndrome), repeated lifting, prolonged sitting or injury during pelvic surgery. Pudendal nerve injuries are common complaints of mesh that we hear about in support groups.

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The pudendal nerve innervates areas around your perineum, anus, clitoris and the muscles you sit on. The pain you feel could be burning, stabbing, aching, or a loss of sensation. It can flare up from time to time or it can come quickly and stay for good—or it can come slowly and worsen over time.

Three categories of pudendal problems are pudendal neuralgia, PN, (pain along the course of the nerve due to inflammation), pudendal neuropathy (a diseased or injured nerve), and pudendal nerve entrapment, PNE, (associated with the nerve being tied down by the surrounding tissues).

•    Stinging, burning, stabbing, aching, knife-like pain, irritation, cramping, spasm, tightness, pins and needles, numbness, or hyper- sensitivity over your anal region, perineum, vulva or clitoris
•    Pain that worsens while sitting and improves while standing or walking
•    Lying down may or may not relieve the pain
•    Pain can be in one area or several, on one or both sides.
•    Problems with urination, defecation or sexual function
•    Increased pain after defecating

Each person’s symptoms are unique. A pudendal nerve entrapment (PNE) diagnosis can be made by listening to the patient’s description of the problem, physical exam, with a special MRI called a MRI neurogram of the pudendal nerves, or an ultrasound.
Pudendal nerve pain
Treatment: Medications such as custom made suppositories to relax your pelvic nerves and muscles may help. Physical therapy with gentle massage, accupuncture, pudendal nerve block guided by CT or ultrasound, caudal epidural injections, pulsed radio frequency ablation to the pudendal nerves, botox injections, spinal cord stimulation. Reference.



Peggy Day is working on a book to combine all these stories. This is an excerpt from Pelvis in Flames: Your Pelvic Mesh Owner’s Guide. Your input is welcome to help make Pelvis in Flames the book you need to read.

If you’d like to join an online support group and learn about erosion, partial removals, surgeons, or just find out that you are not alone, join my group, Surgical Mesh or check the list of support groups here.

Subscribe to PelvicMeshOwnersGuide.com to learn more about pelvic mesh. I’d like to hear from you if you are helped by what you read here or if you need to know more about any particular topic. Comment below or email me privately at daywriter1@gmail.com..


10 responses to “When You Can’t Sit Down, Might Just Be Pudendal Nerve Damage

  1. Hi, There
    I am going through the same thing myself so I know how you feel at the same time am trying to fine a doctor that would help me, but am not having any luck and I wont give up until I fine a doctor that will help me…

  2. Hi..I have been suffering from this for awhile now and also when laying down, I have to continue to flip from side to side cause the numbness wakes me up at night..it’s horrible..!! This broken up sleep really does a number!! I myself have been searching for a Dr.here and am unable to get one to look at me because of this mesh..I’m terrified one day I will be paralyzed, from the waste down..all information is a blessing to me, thanks!

  3. I have been dealing with this pain for a longtime since my mesh removal. It seem to start like 8 months after the removal. I got my records out and seen where the prudendal nerve among other things were treated. So, I called and made an appointment and his nurse said it maybe time to redo the injections again. I thought I was going to have to beg and I am so glad I read the records again showing he did treat the Prudendal area and other things. I am thankful for this site to help me educate myself enough to talk to the doctor when he is conversing with me. Thank

  4. Hi All saw Urogynecologist today,who told me TVT cannot Cause Pudendal, Sciatic Nerve Damage/Ciuld Not be the cause of my Meralga paresthetica/i have had Nerve conduction tests / I have also had fullBody MRI which showed No disc nerve compression, So I asked If I have No Nerve Compression What could be the reason/cause for all this / Nerve damage/symptoms from my waist down, if Not the Mesh?? She said Definitely Not the Mesh ,it can only be the cause of your Cheeswire Pain, we Know it can cause this, But Not the other nerves, as the tape kies under the bladder here in the front, not in the area of those nerves/some times discs bulge ,then go back in / I said well nobody i know without the Mesh has all these damage nerves like me/but women on my support group, with the mesh do and like me, they do not have mesh erosion/ She said they are Not my patients So i can’t comment / I said to her but mesh shrinks, knits and embeds and becomes part of our own tissues and nerves , so surely as it pullsl and contracts it must affect more than the immediate areas/ Again she was adamant a TVT mesh could not affect the sciatic/ pudendal nerves or be cause of my meralgia paresthetica, or the aching in my labia major, i have recently been experiencing when standing / All I can say is Thank god for nerve Conduction tests as until i had them I was told i cld not have pain in the areas I said i did and i needed to see a psychiatrist / today again I feel i am going Crazy, i’ve hit a brick wall, (a urogynecologist) who only believes TVt mesh may cause cheesewire pain or problems if it erodes / I have had my TVT for 15yrs 8mths x

    • I have not seen one doctor in Texas who treats women with mesh problems with respect, compassion, and skill. Would love to hear if anyone finds one in that state. Gaslighting is a cruel hoax where someone tries to make you feel mentally ill so they can control you.
      I wonder if you can follow in the path of hundreds of others who travel out of state to find a doctor who will help you. Although removal helps with some symptoms, nerve damage is nearly always going to be your partner for life. Women find ways to live with it by focusing on what aggravates it and what makes it better. I found it is much less intense and less frequent after removal surgery.
      If you are on the support groups, you have read that there are some doctors who can make the mental connection between mesh and nerve damage. What mesh was it? Did you have any other pelvic surgeries? Wishing you a much better life ahead.

  5. Obturator Hernia repair with Marlex mesh, 1990. Yes, 1990. Immediate sciatic injury, followed by foot drop, MUCH pain, from back of hip to foot, but biggest problem has been in sitting. Much worse in recent years, with apparent piriformis and pudendal pain. No mesh-removal surgeon will attempt to remove the mesh, after all this time. So much pain in pelvic/vaginal area, as well as in the back of hip. Sitting is excruciatingly painful, but also the leg affected so much that I lose control of my leg, resulting in mobility problems. No one has help for me. Meds, nerve blocks, physical therapy, etc. has not helped. Weary with pain. Any suggestions most welcome.

    • I am so sorry that you are suffering so much and losing your mobility. There is one doctor I know who has the skills to take mesh out of the obturator area. If you qualify, it might be worth trying to get in to see him. (Dr. Veronikis in St. Louis) Of course, nerve injuries take a long time and sometimes never heal. Are you able to sink into a swimming pool now and then to take the weight off of your pain?

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