How to evaluate the cause of pelvic pain

How do you evaluate whether your patient with pelvic pain needs an urgent OB / GYN consultation or can appropriately be seen during an outpatient visit? Learn the 5 questions you should ask and what to look for during a pelvic exam.

Tori O’Daniel, MD FACOG
Tori O’Daniel, MD FACOG
26th Jul 2023 • 1m read

The first step in assessing a patient with pelvic pain is accurate history-taking. Make sure you ask these 5 questions to better characterize the pain and get to the root of the problem. 

  1. Location: Is the pain on only one side or both? Is it suprapubic? 
  2. Timing: When did it start, and has it changed over time?
  3. Frequency: Is it constant or intermittent?
  4. Exacerbating or alleviating factors: Does anything make it better or worse? 
  5. Associated symptoms: Are there any symptoms associated with the pain, such as nausea or vomiting?

In this video, Tori O'Daniel, MD FACOG, shows you how to combine your patient’s answers with pelvic exam findings to formulate a diagnosis and make the best clinical decision. 

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