Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
What is pelvic congestion syndrome?
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) is caused by varicose veins in and around the pelvic organs and therefore the symptoms include the uterus, vagina, bladder and bowel. Some patient can develop pelvic varicose veins due to compression of the left renal vein (nutcracker syndrome) or from compression of the iliac veins causing blood to flow through the pelvis to get around the obstruction. Patients with other pelvic pathology like uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts have an increased risk of developing pelvic congestion syndrome. These conditions require more arterial blood flow and thus creates increase venous flow in the pelvis. During pregnancy increased pressure is put on the iliac veins and ovarian veins. Because of the inceased venous pressure the valves in veins to stop working and allow the blood to flow backwards, pool, and create varicose veins in the pelvic region.
Some studies show that 30% of patients with chronic pelvic pain have pelvic venous insufficiency. Risk factors for developing pelvic insufficiency include multiple pregnancies, polycystic ovarian disease, fullness of the leg veins, and hormonal dysfunction. Pelvic congestion syndrome most commonly occurs in young women , and usually in women who have had at least 2-3 children. However, in men it presents with a varicocele or varicose vein next to the testicle.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Pain during or just after having sex is one of the most common symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome. Irritible bowel and irritible bladder, hip pain and fullness in the pelvis are other symptoms. There may be visible varicose veins in the groin area, buttocks, or upper thigh. The symptoms also tend to get worse at the end of the day and are somewhat relieved by lying down.
Women with PVI usually complain of a dull aching and heaviness in the pelvis that increases when standing, during pregnancy, and during menstruation. Sometimes this pain may be experienced in the lower back.
Other symptoms may include:
- Pelvic pain
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Clear or watery discharge from the vagina
- Abdominal bloating
How are they treated?
Quick, effective outpatient visits treat the root cause, not just the symptoms.
We treat vein issues using a stepwise approach. We start by identifying the problem with an ultrasound study of the legs. Once the bad veins are identified, we discuss the various treatment options and tell you which ones we think are the best for you.
PVI is often treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If that is insufficient, sclerotherapy or embolization of the vein may be used to block blood flow to the varicose veins.
The Vein Center of Arizona offers patients a wide variety of treatment options:
Comprehensive Treatment Plan
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
Endovenous Laser Treatment