Infertile women will often have pelvic pain. You need to set your priorities, so the doctor knows what to focus on !

Lots of infertile patients also have pelvic pain . Both pelvic pain and infertility are common complaints amongst women in the reproductive age group, which is why the coexistence of pain and infertility is extremely common. Sometimes the pain is just garden-variety dysmenorrhea; and sometimes its pain because of endometriosis, which causes both pelvic pain as well as infertility. Sometimes it's pelvic congestion syndrome and often we don't have a very good answer for why there is pelvic pain.

The problem arises when patients present with complaints of both pain and infertility and doctors are not sure as to which to take care of first. I always tell my patients you need to focus on one thing at a time . If treating the pain is the first priority , then our approach is completely different ; as compared to dealing with the infertility issue first.

My usual suggestion ( remember that I am an infertility specialist !) is to focus on getting pregnant first, because if they get pregnant this often takes care of the pain as well. When I tell them that we will look at the pain issue later on, this does not mean that I'm being unsympathetic or that I don't care about the pain. It just means that if I try focusing on two things at one time I end up doing both badly, and don't get good results with either.

Equally importantly , trying to treat the pain with medical therapy often wastes valuable time for the patient ; and doing surgery for endometriosis to try to offer pain relief actually ends up reducing ovarian reserve and reducing fertility.

This is why it's so important that you set your own priorities ! You need to decide what's important for you, and focus only on that primary issue, rather than give the Doctor a laundry list of multiple complaints . If getting pregnant is more important than treating the pain, please let your doctor to know. Too many complaints often means that the Doctor doesn't know which should be addressed first - after all, he cannot read your mind !

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.

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