The superior hypogastric plexus is a complex web of neurons and fibers responsible for transmitting subconscious sensation and signals to and from the pelvic region. Once chronic pain develops in the pelvis, this plexus becomes a main source of sending unwanted pain signals to the brain. The main reasons to get a superior hypogastric plexus block is to treat chronic pelvic pain, genital pain, or you have been told you have pudendal neuralgia, while the entire list of treatments is a lot longer, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, Prostatitis, Varicocele to name a few.
This minimally invasive procedure is typically done in two stages. A diagnosis stage where a small amount of medication is given to see if pain is reduced, followed by a therapeutic stage where the block is administered. A local anesthetic is used and sometimes IV sedation depending on the patient’s wishes as the procedure does involve inserting a needle into the deep tissue of the pelvic region.
After the procedure, you should have someone available to drive you home. Ice is usually recommended to alleviate swelling and pain around the injection site. After the anesthetic and sedation wear off pain can return, but when the superior hypogastric plexus block takes effect the pain relief should last for months. If the pain does not start to fade or gets worse, call your doctor. If the pain doubles or worst it may be necessary to call 911, though complications are typically rare.