The pudendal nerve carries signals to and from the genitals, anal area, and urethra. Although there are slight differences in each patient’s nerve branches, there are typically three branches of the nerve on each side of the body; a rectal branch, perineal branch, and clitoral / penile branch (female / male, respectively). While ongoing research is underway to determine the exact areas innervated by the pudenal nerve, peripheral neuralgia occurs when the pudendal nerve, or one of its branches, becomes damaged, inflamed, or entrapped.
Pudendal neuralgia is a pain condition involving the lower central pelvic areas. This is usually precipitated by prolonged sitting or trauma to the genital area, combined with genetic and developmental susceptibility.
When pudendal neuralgia is suspected following the patient’s history and physical examination, an image-guided pudendal nerve block is an important diagnostic tool.