30 Dec Hypogastric Plexus Blocks Can Help Women With Endometriosis Pain
Endometriosis is a very painful condition that women can develop during their reproductive years. The lining of the uterus begins to grow and shed outside of its natural location, leading to chronic pelvic pain and cramping that can worsen during menstruation. Occasionally, the pain will become too severe for oral pain medications to manage. Nerve blocks can stop pain at its source. They can numb nerve bundles that communicate sensations from your body to your brain. A hypogastric plexus block can stop pelvic pain signals from ever being sent out by the hypogastric nerve.
What is a Hypogastric Plexus Block?
Hypogastric plexus blocks are injections of medication that help relieve pelvic pain. The pain may come from the colon, bladder, lower intestines, uterus or ovaries, prostate or testicles, or other parts of the pelvis. The hypogastric plexus is a bundle of nerves near the bottom of your spinal cord. Blocking these nerves from carrying pain information can help you stop feeling pain in your pelvis. These injections do not heal the cause of endometriosis. They can only stop the pain signals from being sent up the spinal cord to our brains.
What is Endometriosis?
Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus, specifically the endometrium grows outside your uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining your pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs. With endometriosis, displaced endometrial tissue continues to act as it normally would. It thickens, breaks down and bleeds with each menstrual cycle. Because this displaced tissue has no way to exit your body, it becomes trapped. When endometriosis involves the ovaries, cysts called endometriomas may form. Surrounding tissue can become irritated, eventually developing scar tissue and adhesions, which are abnormal bands of fibrous tissue that can cause pelvic tissues and organs to stick to each other. The primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, often associated with menstrual periods. Although many experience cramping during their menstrual periods, those with endometriosis typically describe menstrual pain that’s far worse than usual. Pain also may increase over time. The main complication of endometriosis is impaired fertility. Approximately one-third to one-half of women with endometriosis have difficulty getting pregnant. With modern fertility treatments, women now have a better chance of getting pregnant than before.
How Can Hypogastric Nerve Blocks Help Women With Endometriosis Pain?
Hypogastric plexus blocks have long been used to treat painful pelvic conditions. They are extremely successful in stopping pain signals from the pelvic area from ever reaching the brain. Endometriosis pain is due to the lining of the uterus growing outside of its natural location. This pain is sent from the pelvic region, through the hypogastric plexus nerve bundle, and then to the brain to be processed as an injured area in pain. Hypogastric plexus blocks numb the hypogastric nerve, stopping it from sending signals down the line like it normally would. These blocks are safe and can provide women with relief from their pain fast.