A recent New York Times article, entitled “Men With Pelvic Pain Find a Path to Treatment Blocked by a Gynecology Board”, explains how many men with pelvic pain conditions are finding that their access to expert physicians is being blocked by a recent American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) ruling. Starting on September 12, the ABOG has banned gynecologists from treating men, outside of a few exceptions. Unfortunately, chronic pelvic pain is not recognized by ABOG as one of the exceptions to the ruling.
Most men with pelvic pain conditions (chronic prostatitis, testicular pain, penile pain, sexual pain) experience great difficulty finding a physician who is familiar and experienced in treating their condition. Men often find that their urologists and primary care physicians simply do not know enough about the condition to provide effective care or, worse, tell them that the condition is in their head or that there is no treatment.
In the past, many men have relied on gynecologists, some of whom have become experts in the field of pelvic pain, to guide them through the recommended treatments of physical therapy, lifestyle changes and appropriate medication. The pelvic anatomy is very similar for men and women, making gynecologists a useful stand-in for men that could not find help elsewhere.
At Renew Physical Therapy, we want to tell men who are experiencing pelvic pain that they should not despair. We hope that the attention brought about by the New York Times article, as well as the efforts of organizations like the International Pelvic Pain Society, will bring about change in ABOG’s policies.
In the meantime, we encourage men to be the heroes of their own stories and to continue to pursue paths to healing. Many states allow direct access to physical therapy, where an expert therapist in male pelvic pain can assess for pelvic floor dysfunction and guide a man through the appropriate physical therapy treatment. Just as importantly, many physical therapists who specialize in male pelvic pain have a network of physicians who are not affected by ABOG’s ruling, such as enlightened urologists and naturopaths, and who are very experienced in treating pelvic pain conditions.
Isa Herrera, the Clinical Director of Renew Physical Therapy and renowned author of Ending Female Pain, has just published her third book targeted specifically for men. Ending Male Pelvic Pain is a comprehensive self-help guide for men suffering with pelvic pain conditions and post-prostatectomy impairments. Men living in New York City can receive one-on-one assessments and individualized treatments to address and eliminate their pelvic pain conditions. Men who live outside of New York City can attend a week-long intensive program designed specifically for out-of-town patients, where a solid foundation and future progressions are mapped out to be continued when you return to your regular environment.
If you would like to email the Assistant to the Director of the ABOG and tell them how upsetting it is that men are not able to have access to the kind of medical care that might benefit pelvic pain conditions, click here and make your voice heard.
Click here to see the New York Times article on Male Pelvic Pain.
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