Recognize this imagery? You've probably seen it on your doctor's examining room walls and in your health books since middle school. However, there are 2 important misleading and incomplete aspects of this depiction of the female pelvis.
First, the uterus and ovary seen on this picture are deceivingly pictured way up near the umbilicus or “belly button” - that positioning of this anatomy does not actually happen until about 15 to 16 weeks of pregnancy and as can obviously be seen, the uterus in this picture is not pregnant. In this respect this picture is a “cartoon” type drawing that is not anatomically correct. It is simply meant to show that the 3 main organ systems in the pelvis are the lower urinary tract, the reproductive organs, and the lower bowel.
This may not seem important, but in actuality, it is terribly misleading in many circumstances such as when a young woman goes to her doctor or the emergency room doubled over in pain and everyone believes it must be her ovary or certainly a “female” issue, when in fact her ovaries are located considerably deeper or further down in her pelvic “core” than what this picture indicates. So when the ultrasound, the CT scan or any of the other tests don’t show anything abnormal, everyone is puzzled. When this happens repeatedly in young women, they begin to believe and are even told that the pain “must be in their heads”, that they are seeking attention, and/or they are just “drug seekers”.
The second and considerably more important reason this picture of the pelvic region is wrong or incomplete, and which begins to explain why all those tests patients may have undergone did not show anything obviously serious - is that there is indeed a great deal more to the anatomy in the pelvic region that is just not shown in this picture.
To be continued..
Stephanie Yeager: Passionate about spreading the word of hope and healing for those like her, influencing a paradigm shift in the medical community toward greater understanding of chronic pelvic pain disorders, and prevention initiatives that may protect young women before onset can occur.