Update: Gynecologists CAN Treat Male Pelvic Pain Patients!

In Male Pelvic Pain by Stephanie Prendergast8 Comments

Gynecologists are no longer banned from treating male pelvic pain patients, says the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) in a reversal of its September directive.

ABOG announced the good news on Thursday in a statement saying:

“This change recognizes that in a few rare instances board certified diplomates were being called upon to treat men for certain conditions and to participate in research. This issue became a distraction from our mission to ensure that women receive high-quality and safe health care from certified obstetricians and gynecologists.”

In addition to the ban on treating men, so too is the requirement that members devote at least 75% of their practice to obstetrics and gynecology. Instead, ABOG says members have to spend “a majority” of their time doing so.

This decision has come after much protest from both providers and patients.

It was back in September that ABOG first stated that gynecologists could no longer treat men. The ban was an effort to prevent gynecologists from practicing procedures that they were not trained for, such as cosmetic Botox and liposuction.

The board told the New York Times that some gynecologists who were performing these procedures were advertising themselves as “board certified” without pointing out that what they were certified in was obstetrics and gynecology, not cosmetic surgery.

However, one presumably unintended consequence was that gynecologists who are expert in treating pelvic pain were told they could no longer take on male patients. The bottom line is that many of the top experts on pelvic pain are gynecologists and they have been treating male patients who have found it impossible to find the proper treatment elsewhere.

For example, some patients whose pelvic pain was caused by pudendal nerve entrapment were looking to gynecologists to have the pudendal nerve decompression surgery.

An exception to the ban was first made for men at risk for anal cancer, since few physicians other than gynecologists have experience in screening men for anal cancer. The board initially refused to do the same for gynecologists treating male pelvic pain.

Then last week we told you how back in December the board made an exception for current male pelvic pain patients, but said doctors could not take on any new patients.

Then on Jan. 10, an attorney made it clear to the board that he would sue if the ban was not lifted, according to the New York Times. The attorney, Tom Curtis of Nossaman LLP, based in Irvine, Calif., was representing Dr. David Matlock, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Los Angeles who performs a variety of cosmetic vaginal operations and also does liposuction on men and women, says the Times. Mr. Curtis said that the ban “violated antitrust laws.”

According to a spokesman for ABOG; however, the threat of a lawsuit had nothing to do with the lift on the ban.

Stephanie was once again quoted in the Times article on the issue saying that the “ban on treating men had interrupted treatment plans for men with pelvic pain, and that Thursday’s decision was ‘a victory for patients.’”

To read the Times article in its entirety, click here.

How do you feel about ABOG’s decision to lift the ban? We want to hear from you!

All our best,

The Staff of PHRC


  1. I am thrilled and happy for the decision and your help that made it so.I was running out of hope and options. The door has been reopened if I need to use it. Thank you for your help.

  2. Very good! Here, in Brazil, we are victims of urologists and your jurassics diagnostics of prostatitis, alongside prescripition of massive Cipro posologies. Meanwhile, Cipro is very neurotoxic…Very dangerous!

  3. I applaud any large organization that reworks rules that do harm rather than their intended good. It sounds like the ABOG has made a good move. Thanks for sharing the good news!

  4. I had read about the ban and untill today and reading your Blog,I thought it was still in effect. Hooray! Now maybe I can find someone who can help me.

  5. I was happy to find this article stating that the ban that prevented an OBGYN had been lifted that prevented them from performing Pudendal Nerve Entrapment Release opperations on Male patients. I sure wish I would have found this a few months back, I was scheduled to have the entrapment release procedure performed by Dr Hebiner in AZ. I was in AZ waiting to go in for surgery when I learned that he would not be able to perform the surgery.

    I live in i Florida, and have found that the State or the Feds, not sure which, make getting oral morphine almost impossible to obtain from a pharmacy in Florida do to a code change that limited how many bills a pharmacy can distribute a month. I have a nerve stimulator implanted that helps, and with the additional use of the slow release morphine, I was able to do enough of my job to get by, however, the oral morphine caused light headedness, headaches,chest pains, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, memory losses; and constipation that I thought would kill me.

    After 3 months of not being able to get morphine over the counter with a prescription, my Doctor suggested I get a Pain Pump Implant. We did that, and it has worked great. I only take a 10mg morphine pill as needed for break through pain, and that is no longer every day. I am not dizzy or light headed anymore, my memory is improving. And to top it all off, my constipation battles are gone. The pain pump has worked great, sure it limits me in doing something, but without the morphine pump and the nerve stimulator working together, I spent would spend almost every evening and weekend in bed, I only get relief when I lay on my right side with a pillow between my legs.
    I had stopped doing things with my family other than taking short walks, but I would pay for those walks with pain scores of 7 to 8 afterward,and spend the entire next day in bed. I had gotten angry about everything and thatis not a good trait to have when your in sales.
    Since getting the pain pump installed. I have taken an airplane flight with no issues. The job I had before the PNE started was as a Regional Sales Manager, I was on an plane almost every week, but had to give that job up for one that allowed me to cover a smaller territory, one where I can get out of the car take some medication and walk off some of the pain, or sit on a commode seat in a road side rest area, this helps also. If you have PNE, you will find that siting on a commode sit will help reduce the pain for a short amount of time, however the Tail Bone goes numb after about 20 minutes for me; an my Doctor told me I could do some other damage if I keep doing that to often.
    Well just like everything that I have dealt with since getting PNE, I got kicked to the sidewalk again today. I received a letter from Blue Cross telling me that the implant of the pain pump was now not approved by them, even after that had approved the procedure, and had been making payments to the Doctors and the hospital when that got billed.
    Now I have to file an appeal and hope to have that over turned, what I expect to see happen is; I will be denied by appeals board, and have to hire an attorney to represent me. It will be worth it, but I am sure this will deplete the last of my savings for thier fees. Since the company I work for has a company sponsored medical plan, I was told to expect to be fired once I claim the suite, at that time I get to go on Cobra for insurnace until I go broke.
    Sorry to go on about this, but I wanted to point out some things, first if you’re thinking about having the surgery done, consider DR. Hibner in AZ, do you own homework, but he seems to have the best procedure, and he treats you with dignity. Second, if you can get it approved and don’t want to risk the surgery, and yes there will be risk, talk to your Doctor about a Medtronic Nerve Stimulator, a pain pump, or both, and no, I do not work for any of these companies.
    Through the years, I have had injections, therapy, Botoix close to a hundred types of medications and more test than I care to talk about. I also found that there are a lot of Doctors that are in this for the money only, I had one ask me to fill out a financial statement before he would see me, yet I have found some that are great Doctors and wanted to help me.
    Dr Dewayne Griffith in Tyler Texas implanted my nerve stimulator about 4 years ago; I had had the pain for three years prior to having the stimulator installed. If it were not for him, I would not be here today, I would have ended it a long time ago, but he saved my life by getting the stimulator installed, and by caring enough to listen to my issues and study them. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to finally be able to discuss my symptoms with a Doctor that did not treat me like I was crazy because he / she had no idea what was wrong with me.
    I had more than one Doctor tell me that they could not find anything wrong with me, and suggested that I may just have stress in my life. Yes I was in stress, stress from being in chronic pain, on a pain scale of 7 to 8 for twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, I have been dealing with this for 7 years now.
    I had to give up my Regional Sales Managers position because 4 to 6 hour airplane flights were unbearable without over medicating myself, when I got off the plane, I would sometimes have to drive for a few additional hours, I would be in so much pain that I would have blacked out if I had not stopped and rested at truck stops.
    I had to change jobs, and live in Florida now so I don’t have to fly. If I could get a job back in Texas, I would be moving back tomorrow just to be able to see the Doctor that I was seeing in Tyler Texas.

    If you live near Tyler Texas, try and see Dr Dewayne Griffith at the Tyler Spine Clinic , or Dr Hinber in AZ at St Joe’s if you think you have PNE.

    Stay strong, and thanks to everyone that worked to get the law over turned that provided an OBGYN from performing this surgery on a mail. In my case Blue Cross claims it is experimental, but if I can afford it, I will sell my house and try to pay for the procedure with my own funds, as even with my implants, they will only work so long before I become disable and bed ridden.

    1. Author

      Dear Jim,

      Thank you for taking the time to share your story. We agree, there are several physicians that are a great resource for pelvic pain patients. However, we find that in conjunction with medical procedures, patients also require conservative avenues of treatment such as pelvic pt. Below is a list of the therapists we refer to in your area.

      Lorien Hathaway, PT Plano TX (972) 579-8100
      Audra Ragan, PT Plano TX (972) 579-8100
      Stephanie Fournier, PT Irving, TX (972) 579-8155

      All my best,


  6. My life was destroyed in 2001 by a surgeon in Atlanta. He ripped out my colon and rectum ,and i have been i severe pain nearly 14 years now. Crohn’s since 1974, even with a colostomy i had a productive life until this horrific nightmare surgery in 2001. My urinary tract was also damaged ,and i have just had to go on dialysis 15 months ago. I believe the main problem i have in finding help is i have no rectum for a physician to do the standard testing to diagnose with Pudendal nerve damage. Please tell me if you know of anyone,or any way i can get relief from this nightmare. Thank you ,and i pray that i can get positive advice from you.

    1. Author

      Hello Samuel,

      Where are you located? I may be able to recommend a physical therapist, and or physician in your area.



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