Context: Although pudendal neuralgia (PN) has received growing interest over the last few years, diagnosis remains difficult, and many different therapeutic approaches can be considered.
Objectives: This article aims to provide an overview of the possible treatments of PN and investigate their efficacies.
Methods: Utilizing PubMed and ScienceDirect databases, a systematic review was carried out and allowed identification of studies involving patients with PN, as defined by Nantes criteria, and their associated treatments. Relevant data were manually reported.
Results: Twenty-eight articles were selected, totaling 1,013 patients (mean age, 49 years) and six different types of interventions. Clinical outcomes, most frequently quantified utilizing the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), vary greatly with both the therapy and time after intervention (from 100 to <10%). However, neither peri nor postoperative serious complications (grade > II of Clavien–Dindo classification) are reported. Although surgery seems to provide a higher proportion of long-term benefits, identifying the most efficient therapeutic approach is made impossible by the multitude of outcome measurements and follow-up frequencies. It should also be noted that literature is sparse regarding randomized controlled trials with long-term follow-up.
Conclusions: Although there are a number of modalities utilized for the treatment of PN, there are no current recommendations based on treatment efficacies. This seems to be largely in part caused by the lack of standardization in outcome quantification. Future research in this field should focus on prospective cohort studies with high levels of evidence, aimed at assessing the long-term, if not permanent, benefits of available therapies.