Sciatica in the female patient

I would urge you all to read the following article if you have herniated disc, sciatica, pins and needles, pelvic , buttock, hip thigh, quad pain. As an endometriosis sufferer I have had these concerns and am currently awaiting another lap in March to see if I have adhesions or more endo returned post hysterectomy 2003. It has been the same pain i have had through three other operations plus the hysterectomy due to adenomyosis, and got relief each time when my pelvic issues were erradicated. I show bulging discs on MRI one touching a nerve. But my pain is mostly on the right and these are on the left. I kknow about referred pain but I also know it can be caused by cysts inthe pouch of douglas as you will read in this article, and I have have them every laporscopic surgery too.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

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  • I had endometriosis and a radical hysterectomy almost 22 years ago. My spinal problems began age 21 and gradually worsened, I had my hysterectomy 1993 and a laminectomy/discectomy 1996. I have never heard of one causing problems with the other, the organs are nowhere near the spine and how can they affect something when they are no longer there? Once the womb/cervix is gone, endometriosis is too! What on earth is a pouch of Douglas?

  • Pouch of douglas is also referred to as the cul de sac if that helps. An extension of the peritoneal cavity between the rectum and back wall of the uterus. And sorry to say endometriosis is not always resolved by removal of the womb and cervix. The ovaries continue to work and produce cysts and sometimes existing endo is not visable at the time of surgery and will continue to be stimulated if the ovaries are still active and producing estrogen. You also have estrogen in your body fat and in the foods we eat, caffeine we drink that can also keep existing endo left undetected active and stimulate growth of adhesions.

  • I've never heard of that. I had a total hysterectomy, I don't have ovaries, womb and cervix. But I still can't see how it would affect the spine and discs. I understand all about oestrogen and the body, it isn't in body fat from everything I've read anyway, it's just carried around the female body and responsible for a lot of the hormonal changes we go through (I'm coming back as a man!). HRT stimulates any endometriosis which was on organs such as the bowel and bladder, but it certainly can't cling to bone! I know that certain foods are high in oestrogen, and recommended for menopausal women to help with hot flushes, mood swings etc and I know that caffeine doesn't help all of those, it certainly isn't actually "in" it, but levels aren't helped by drinking too much.

    Each to their own I suppose!

  • I know that the two things are connected and thanks for bringing our attention to this. Firstly a bulky uterus (fibroids/age/pregnancies/endometriosis etc) can physically drag on the spinal ligaments causing pain and no amount of pelvic floor exercises will change that for some women. Secondly, it's all closely packed in the pelvis and the nerves can be irritated if endometriosis is present and/or nociceptor stimulation takes place. I had to stop HRT because it gave me an acute back which I hadn't had for years! As the song goes, your thigh bone's connected to your hip bone etc.....

  • Thank you Boozybird, I thought the article was very informative and helpful to prove to those of us being fobbed off numerously that it could be of a gynecological cause.

  • Pain Down the right is sciatica trapped nerve.pain down the left is arthritis in the spine....

  • I found this article VERY interesting as I have so much I can relate to with this article for example, I was told that I have a retroverted uterus when I had my MRI - I have also had gynaecological problems in the past and a coil fitted and my problems are in the F5 S1 area! I did say to my GP if the retroverted uterus could be linked as it made sense to me that it could be pressing on a nerve but she said it was unrelated - I will ask her to read this and possibly my consultant but you know what it's like when you offer suggestions to the 'professionals' they humour you or become offended ( eg. 'Yes deary - how could you, this untrained person tell ME how to suck eggs!'). If my operation doesn't work (Discectomy) I know I have another avenue to look into although making yourself heard (as in this possibly could be a viable explanation) may take some doing I expect. Thank you very much for posting this.

  • When is your discectomy operation?

  • Hey Tracy_K99,

    It turns out I am having my surgery on Tuesday! An opening came up I'm so happy. I will see what if anything they find but I have come across others with this and a Dr. on another forum that confirmed it is usually caused by the uterosacral ligaments, adhesions or endo of. There was another article too,

    centerforendometriosiscare....

    I sure hope this can be remedied as I'm reading forums from sciatic and back pain patients and not liking what I'm seeing there!

    I know all too well what you mean about presenting things to a physician! And being rerouted dispite already having lived through this several times and having confirmed endo

  • Hi there! Do you mind me asking what surgery you are having exactly? Are you in the uk? Is it a discectomy as mine is booked in for march and now with this new knowledge I'm wondering if it may do more harm than good?! I had multiple vaginal cysts removed (sorry if this is too much information haha) in 2010 and a prolapse vaginal wall repair after childbirth. It was never mentioned then that I had a retroverted uterus and I think that maybe the surgery somehow 'moved' it. I will read your link in the morning and thanks again - this is all so interesting. Whatever surgery you are having I do hope it goes well - good news that you do not have to wait as long as you expected- please keep us posted - any info is much appreciated

    Tracy.

  • No worries Tracy_K99,

    I am 50 years old, so there's nothing I haven't heard, no risk of TMI there! Don't you sometimes wish we had a crystal ball, so much doubt comes with all the rejection we experience from medical professionals. That's why I love these forums! Do you follow on endometropolis's facebook forum also? I am new to it but have found a plethora of information there that has enlightened me greatly already! There were discussing the idea of having the tilted uterus repositioned just the other day that's why I ask! My uterus was tilted also not sure if it was all along or if it was caused by adhesion's due to endo and I also had adenomyosis so I had a hysterectomy at age 39. I had two healthy natural childbirths with no complications except I did suffer incredibly with lower back pain. I live in Canada and I am having a laporoscopy thanks to finding my gyne specialist from the endo resolved website links. He is the only one listed in my province. I met with a different gyne in September and he told me that they do not do surgeries for endometriosis anymore that they are a teaching facility and they don't believe in treating endo by surgical means! He used me in front of his student to explain how laporoscopy is sometimes effective but is a placebo effect. I have had a complicated history with a lot of debilitating pain. I presented all my post operative and pathology reports and yet he still shot me down. I think some make more money doing cesarean sections and opt not to treat endo sufferers because it's true, it is had to spot and excise all the areas of endo sites. But from reading this other forum I have been told by experts that hormone drugs, which is what the last specialist was recommending, do not treat endo. Now I don't know if it is endo but a diagnosis would be nice I had 11 years post hysterectomy of not being debilitated by pain. Some ovarian incidents but these last 9 and a half months I've had many symptoms that I've experienced in the past as well as the back, hip pelvic pain. I keep a calendar because my cycles are obsured by no bleeding but I have days when i'm dizzy , I starting bleeding from my rectum again (until I lately following the endo diet 14 weeks ago) and it's improved I am getting more emotional at certain times of the month and other things too.

    Your situation is complicated, had you also been diagnosed with endo, and or adhesions especially of the uteralsacral ligaments. I have. And what age are you? I was fortunate to be done childbearing by the age of 29. before things really got complicated. had they used a mesh sling for your prolapse? I have read that these can cause complications. Thanks for the well wishes I will keep you informed although I don't know when I will find out what was done to me or if it helps until I'm recouperated. I know this surgeon is going on holidays in February and that makes me nervous having to wait not knowing drives me crazy! Fingers crossed. I imagine you have had MRI's? All the best to you I hope you get better via surgery and do not become a chronic sufferer dependant on pain killers. I believe in the fight to get the problem corrected. It's tough to keep up but these forums help us not feel so alone.

  • Hi There,

    I'm 47 years old, live in the UK and left having my daughter until I was 41! So I think my body is paying the price! I was again very much kept in the dark with my prolapse repair and fool that I was, I didn't ask enough questions - they whisked me in and out with no aftercare at all - I even had to chase them up to find out if the cysts were benign or malignant! All this was in 2010. I 'think' that it was a mesh sling repair and it changed my 'shape' considerably that is why I am suspicious regarding the retroverted uterus. I asked my GP at the time if I would get any other cysts as the consultant said he removed some of them but there were too many to remove and the skin inside was very thin and difficult to suture! So I may well have plenty more there and maybe new ones. My GP at the time simply said I would be very unlucky if I got more but didn't offer a follow up plan - can you believe it?! I'm a little angry with myself for not pushing this more. One thing after another happened in my life and all this was simply forgotten ..... I also had a Mirena coil fitted at the time and this has just recently been replaced. I would like to mention this now to my new GP but to be honest with all that has happened with my back and other problems I'm sure she will think I'm either a complete hyperchondriac or an attention seeking nut! I had an MRI and they have said that I have a disc prolaspe, spondylosis of the vertebrae and mild facet joint disease. I was given a nerve block inj and will now have a discectomy. I find it hard to deal with the day to day things and now this seems like another huge mountain to climb. I feel like I simply can't cope with it all - I am also on antideppresants to make it even more of a joy ride ;-) I will have to see where I go from here and wait for a 'good day' to make a plan but I think I will go ahead with the op and if it doesn't work I will talk to my GP about all this as I have a feeling my consultant will fob me off as yours did to you. Thanks once again for all this info - I will go back and refer to all this again I'm sure. xx

  • I have also been diagnosed by a Physical therapist as having SI joint dysfunction, and two or three herniated disks in the lower back with some nerve involvement but my pain is on the right more so and this is on the left. I never was in an accident so I don't know how I aquired this much damage, perhaps it's just the accumilation of pregnacy and hard labour repairing my lawn from two dogs, IDK. All I do know is it feels like it always had before each lap I ever had which always helped in the past. And if I were you I would press to find out if adenomyosis is a possibility for you. They are not very forthcoming with results. My GP said a coupe of bulging disks but nothing that requires surgery. Well I wish I could make him feel what a day in the life of this pain was like. I only was told by this surgeon doing my lap Tuesday that I had an oversized uterus. No onwe ever followed up but I make it habit to attain my opost operative and pathology reports myself to find out. I don't read medical terminology, my daughter 21, just took a course and has explained a lot of it to me. He said my uterus weighed 130 something or other when the average normal uterus weighs 80 (Not sure what the measure is mg?) I had my tubes tied when I underwent my first lap in 1997. When I was first diagnosed due to pelvic pain mostly on the right then too. Three more after that and then when I moved to another province and found that my last lap results didn't last I went back to that province to the same last specialist to get a hysterectomy. A ultrasound showed before I left questionable adenomyosis, no one told me that either till I pressed.

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