Sleeping With Pudendal Neuralgia: Manage Your Routine and Sleeping Positions

In this article, we will take a look at pudendal neuralgia, a chronic pelvic and genital pain condition that can significantly impact sleep. We will explore ways to manage sleeping routines and positions for individuals with pudendal neuralgia.
Sabrina Greco

Sabrina Greco

MSc in Anatomical Sciences at Queen’s University in Canada

A blue image with text saying "Pudendal Neuralgia and Sleep"

What is Pudendal Neuralgia?

Pudendal neuralgia is a chronic condition that can arise from damage or irritation to the pudendal nerve. This condition can greatly impact sleep quality, and overall quality of life.

Quality sleep is important and necessary for overall health and well-being. Lack of sleep can worsen feelings of pain and discomfort over time and make it challenging to manage chronic conditions and symptoms [1].

Pudendal neuralgia can cause pain, discomfort and numbness in the pelvic and genital regions. These sensations can make it challenging to rest and fall asleep.

Some individuals with pudendal neuralgia find relief when lying down, as this alleviates pressure on the pudendal nerve. While some can find comfort once in a lying position, others may have trouble falling and staying asleep due to pain.

Managing your sleep routine

A consistent sleep routine is important for managing chronic pain conditions, like pudendal neuralgia. Consistent sleep patterns can help manage pain levels [2].

Establishing a sleep routine can involve:

  • Setting consistent bedtime and wake-up times.
  • Avoiding caffeine before bed.
  • Avoiding electronics before bed.
  • Creating a comfortable sleep environment.
  • Creating a relaxing pre-sleep regimen (e.g., meditation, deep breathing)

Preparing your sleep environment

Prepare your sleep environment to best suit your needs. A relaxing and comfortable sleep environment can help reduce tension that can contribute to pudendal neuralgia pain and symptoms.

Creating a comfortable sleep environment can involve:

  • Playing soothing music or using a white noise machine.
  • Adjusting the room temperature and lighting to your preference.
  • Choosing a supportive mattress and pillows.

Sleeping positions for pudendal neuralgia

Certain sleeping positions can help maintain posture and reduce pressure on painful regions [3]. These positions can help alleviate pain for individuals with pudendal neuralgia.

Use cushions and pillows to support your body. Aim to cushion your pelvis and avoid pressure on painful areas while sleeping to prevent further irritation and pain. Try different sleeping positions to find the one that works best for you and your symptoms.

Some recommended sleeping positions are:

  • Laying on your back with a pillow underneath your knees. This position reduces pressure on the lower back and pelvic region.
  • Laying on your side with a pillow between your legs. This helps maintain the position of the hips and spine and reduces pressure on the pelvic region.
  • Laying on your stomach with a pillow underneath your hips. This position helps to reduce pressure on the back and pelvic area.

Conclusion

Pudendal neuralgia is a challenging condition, with impacts on wellbeing and quality of life. Managing your sleep routine, preparing your sleep environment, and finding comfortable sleeping positions can help alleviate pain and symptoms of pudendal neuralgia.

Ask your healthcare provider for suggestions to help manage your sleep routine and sleeping positions with pudendal neuralgia.

Sabrina Greco

Sabrina Greco

Sabrina is a pre-medical student based in Toronto, Canada. She completed her BSc in Life Sciences and her MSc in Anatomical Sciences at Queen’s University in Canada. Her recent research focused on investigating the symptoms and experiences of women who have undergone gynecologic surgery. Her research has been published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology Canada, and presented at the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health Annual Conference 2022 and 2023. Sabrina is a patient advocate dedicated to improving communication and knowledge translation practices in clinical settings.