Genitofemoral Neuropathy Is A Cause of Pelvic Nerve Pain

Genitofemoral Neuropathy Is Treated With Pain Medications or Anticonvulsants

Pain or cramps in stomach/pelvis area. Credit: MarsBars

Pelvic nerve pain may be caused by damage or dysfunction of the genitofemoral nerve. This type of pelvic nerve pain is called genitofemoral neuropathy.

Where Is the Genitofemoral Nerve Located?

The genitofemoral nerve pierces the psoas muscle and divides into two branches, genital and femoral, above the inguinal ligament in the pelvis. The psoas muscle is a hip flexor, which runs from the lower back across the pelvis and down to the head of the femur.

The psoas muscle flanks both sides of the lower vertebral column.

In women, the genital branch of the genitofemoral nerve innervates, and thus provides sensation, to the labia majora and the mons pubis, which are parts of the vagina. In men, the genital branch innervates the scrotum The femoral branch of the genitofemoral nerve is responsible for innervation of the outer portion of the thigh.

How Does Genitofemoral Neuropathy Occur?

The genitofemoral nerve can be damaged during certain types of surgeries as well as abdominal or pelvic trauma thus leading to persistent pain. This type of pelvic nerve pain may also be caused by peripheral neuropathy, such as that associated with diabetes. Another cause of genitofemoral nerve injury is compression of the psoas muscle.

Sometimes the genitofemoral nerve is damaged when pelvic lymph nodes are dissected or a large pelvic mass is removed during pelvic surgery.

Symptoms of Gentitofemoral Neuropathy:

Like many types of neuropathic pain, genitofemoral neuropathy is often described as sharp, shooting or throbbing. This type of pelvic nerve pain may be felt in the abdomen, lower back or between the legs. It may come and go, or it may be more persistent. Some people report feeling this type of pelvic nerve pain more when lying down.

Genitofemoral Neuropathy Treatment

Treatment for pelvic nerve pain caused by genitofemoral neuropathy can be any of the following:

Most cases of genitofemoral neuropathy are resolved with nerve blocks, though in rare cases some may persist. Persistent pelvic nerve pain is one of the many types of chronic pelvic pain.

If you are experiencing symptoms of genitofemoral neuropathy, you should consult with your primary care physician or OB-GYN. Your physician can refer you to the appropriate specialist for evaluation and treatment of this uncomfortable condition.


Cardosi Richard J, Cox Carol S and Hoffman Mitchel S. Postoperative Neuropathies After Major Pelvic Surgery. Obstetrics & Gynecology. August 2002. 100:2. pp 240-244

Hoffman BL, Schorge JO, Schaffer JI, Halvorson LM, Bradshaw KD, Cunningham F, Calver LE. Chapter 40. Intraoperative Considerations. In: Hoffman BL, Schorge JO, Schaffer JI, Halvorson LM, Bradshaw KD, Cunningham F, Calver LE. eds. Williams Gynecology, 2e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2012. Accessed January 22, 2016.

National Pain Foundation. Pelvic Pain: Causes. Accessed 8/21/09.

Sandford Rebecca and Nicholson Michael L. Genito-femoral Nerve Entrapment: a Complication of Stapling the Ureter During Laparoscopic Live Donor Nephrectomy. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. 2001.16:10 Pp. 2090-2091

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