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What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

Pelvic congestion syndrome is defined as the presence of varicose veins in the pelvis region associated with chronic pelvic pain present longer than six months. Often, this pelvic pain is exacerbated by prolonged standing, sexual intercourse, and menstruation. 

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome 

Symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome include: 

  • Swollen vulva
  • Varicose veins in the genital region or legs
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Low back pain 
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Irritable bladder
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Irritable bowel 

Pelvic congestion syndrome is an under-diagnosed disease as a diagnosis can only be reached using diagnostic imaging once other pelvic conditions have been ruled out. Some diagnostic imaging that can be used includes echography, ultrasound imaging, CT scan, and contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).  

Causes of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

Though the exact cause for pelvic congestion syndrome is unclear, some experts believe that issues with the ovarian vein may be the root of the problem. Such issues include the formation of varicose veins along the reproductive tract and on the ovaries. 

Most women who develop pelvic congestion syndrome are in their child-bearing years, and it is likely that women who have had a previous pregnancy are more likely to develop the condition. Multiple pregnancies are believed to further increase your chances of developing pelvic congestion syndrome.

To prevent pelvic congestion syndrome from developing, it is recommended to: 

  • Wear compression garments during pregnancy
  • Maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy

Treatment of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome 

Once the syndrome has been accurately diagnosed, surgical or minimally invasive endovascular treatments are the only way to improve symptoms, as conservative treatment is often insufficient. In patients who have undergone embolization, a majority have reported complete pain relief, as well as a significant decrease in the severity of their symptoms. For all of the patients, transcatheter ovarian vein embolization caused no further complications, and it improved the patients’ quality of life. 

Contact Advanced Heart and Vein Center

If you believe that you may have pelvic congestion syndrome or be at risk for the condition, contact the Advanced Heart and Vein Center today! Our physicians are specially trained in the prevention and innovative treatment methods for pelvic congestion syndrome and the full range of cardiology-related conditions. 

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