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Gynecologists Now Treating Men: Pelvic Pain

Gynecologists Now Treating Men: Pelvic Pain

man sitting in a doctor's office

You read that right—but what’s the deal with your man and the gyno?

When you’re in the waiting room, flipping through copies of People and Elle and preparing yourself for the check-up that no woman particularly enjoys, the last thing you’d expect is to see men waiting on either side of you. With a new board ruling, however, that may be coming more common than you may think.

So why might your man need a gyno?

Although the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear OBGYN is probably your lady-bits, obstetrician-gynecologists are trained to treat muscle and nerve pain in the pelvis. There is a long list of those types of pelvic problems that can occur in both men and women, and sometimes general doctors just can’t properly treat the problem.

Pelvic problems in men are often mistaken for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction disease or prostate problems, which makes it hard to get a definite statistic on the amount of men suffering. Typical treatment options can include medication, physical therapy, counseling, lifestyle changes, and even surgery. Without proper treatment, the pain can be constant and debilitating. Most men seeking treatment have seen several doctors before they arrive at the gynecologist’s office, if they get there at all.

Ouch! Why aren’t more men seeing gynecologists then?

The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology ruled in September of last year that, with very few exceptions, gynecologists were prohibited from treating men. Pelvic pain was not among the small list of exceptions, although the Board recently changed the list of exceptions to include screening for men who have a high risk of anal cancer. OBGYNs found to be violating this rule may lose their license.

The Board justified their ruling by stating that many other types of doctors can treat these ailments in men, according to spokesman David Margulies. Margulies also admitted the Board had made a one-time exception for a male patient of a gynecologist in Arizona, allowing him to continue his treatment. Stephanie Prendergast, president of the International Pelvic Pain Society and a physical therapist in San Francisco, contacted the Board on behalf of the Society. The statement addressed the issue of pelvic pain in men, and stated that “gynecologists are better equipped to treat male patients with pelvic pain than most urologists, neurologists, orthopedists, etc.”

Now what?

At least for the time being, the Board shows no signs of altering its regulations to allow gynecologists to treat male patients for pelvic pain. It’s become a hot topic in the healthcare world in an attempt to provide men suffering from pelvic pain the type of treatment and care that they need.

If you’re curious about pelvic pain in general, or what options you may have if you’re suffering pelvic pain with no end in sight, feel free to contact us. We’re happy to help you get back on the healthy, happy track!