Danielle came to see Dr. Maurice Chung after three unsuccessful years of treatment for pelvic pain. At age 29, she had undergone two surgeries to alleviate severe cramps and bleeding. When those procedures proved ineffective, she underwent a complete hysterectomy. But despite all of these drastic and costly measures, Danielle (not her real name) continued to have pain.

Dr. Chung traced the source of the problem to an earlier injury. Danielle had fallen, but no one at the time realized there was damage to her bladder, muscles and nerves. Based on his diagnosis, Dr. Chung was able to reduce Danielle’s pain by around 80 percent with medication and minimally invasive surgery. His mission is to help others like her avoid the same kind of ordeal.

For more than 25 years, Dr. Chung has treated women for severe menstrual pain, sexual pain, endometriosis, bladder control, and organ prolapse, among other ailments. He is quietly passionate about managing pain in the least invasive way possible.

Clarifying the problem is the first step

“Pelvic pain is often diagnosed as endometriosis,” Dr. Chung points out. “But endometriosis accounts for only about 20% of all cases.” By viewing pain through a wider lens and better understanding the source of pain, Dr. Chung helps women avoid unnecessary surgery. “When a woman comes to me with severe pain, I start with the least invasive treatment approach,” he says. “Most instances of pelvic pain do not require major surgery.”

New Center for Treating Pelvic Pain

A graduate of Northeastern University College of Pharmacy and Tufts University Medical School, Dr. Chung is board-certified in OB-GYN and uro-gynecology. He has been a certified laparoscopic surgeon since 1995. Dr. Chung oversees the Van Wert County Hospital Women’s Center of Excellence for Pelvic Pain, Organ Prolapse and Bladder Control, which opened in 2015.

Visitors to the Center include women at every stage of life, from teenagers to the elderly. What brings them to the Center is simple: They have pain – often debilitating pain – but the cause can be complex difficult to pinpoint. In many cases, women have come to Dr. Chung only after previous treatment efforts proved unsuccessful.

‘Pain is not normal and should not be ignored’

“Women are brought up to accept that pain is a normal part of their lives,” Dr. Chung says, “but pain is not normal.” It is, however, commonplace and can take a huge toll on a woman’s quality of life. Pain is important; it points us toward solving a problem and should not be ignored. Sometimes, after unsuccessful attempts to treat pelvic pain, women are made to feel the problem is all in their head when, in fact, the pain is very real.

“At the Center we take all women’s symptoms seriously,” Dr. Chung says. “We start by engaging them in a conversation to understand every possible factor that could be causing their problem. We want our patients to know they are not alone. With proper diagnosis and a cautious approach to treatment, there is a good possibility we can alleviate their pain without drastic measures.”