Pelvic Venous Congestion

What is Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome?

Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) is a common condition in women that causes chronic pelvic pain. Nearly 25% of women who visit an OB/GYN for pelvic pain have pelvic congestion syndrome. If not treated properly, it can be debilitating. Also, it is commonly missed and often results in unnecessary procedures and testing. Pelvic congestion is caused by varicose veins in and around the pelvic organs. This is often secondary to compression of the iliac vein in the abdomen. Signs and symptoms besides varicose veins in the legs include pain during or after intercourse, pain in the legs during menstruation, hip pain, lower back pain, irritable bowel symptoms, irritable bladder symptoms, labial veins, hemorrhoids, and veins around the outer thigh, posterior thigh and groin area.

Vein disease above the waist is not often treated at most vein centers because it is more complex and requires the attention of highly-trained vascular specialists. At the Princeton Vascular Center, we are a vein treatment center with the best vein doctors in New Jersey. Dr. Brotman is a board-certified vascular surgeon and vein specialist with experience in both simple and complex vein disease. When you choose the Princeton Vascular Center for the treatment of your vein disease, you are sure to be in good hands.

Symptoms Treatments

 

Pelvic Venous Congestion Can Be Treated

Some patients with pelvic congestion syndrome have an underlying yet correctable problem that needs to be considered in the evaluation of the patient.

 

Causes & Symptoms

Here are some of the possible causes and symptoms of pelvic venous congestion:

Causes

Women can develop pelvic congestion syndrome when varicose veins develop around the ovaries. The valves in these varicose veins can stop functioning properly, causing blood to flow backwards, which will cause congestion.

  • Multiple pregnancies
  • Polycystic ovaries

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms besides varicose veins in the legs include:

  • Pain during or after intercourse
  • Pain in the legs during menstruation
  • Hip and/or lower back pain
  • Irritable bowel and/or bladder symptoms
  • Labial veins
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Veins around the outer thigh, posterior thigh and groin area

How Is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Diagnosed?

Pelvic congestion syndrome is not easy to diagnose since pelvic pain is common in women for a number of different reasons. 

Pelvic pain can result from problems with the:

  • Reproductive system (ovaries and uterus)
  • Urinary system (bladder)
  • Gastrointestinal system (large intestine)
  • Muscles or bones

Mental health conditions, such as depression, can also be linked to chronic pelvic pain. Your healthcare provider will need to consider many possible causes before diagnosing the condition. 

Your vascular specialist will often work with your OB/GYN to diagnose the condition. He or she will ask about your medical history and your symptoms. You will also need to have a physical exam.

Common tests performed by the vascular specialist will include:

  • Pelvic ultrasound to look for growths in the pelvis
  • Doppler ultrasound to check the blood flow in the pelvic blood vessels
  • CT scan or MRI for more detailed pictures
  • Diagnostic laparoscopy to rule out other causes of pelvic pain
  • Venography which is a procedure to take X-rays of the pelvic veins 

How Is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Treated?

When pelvic vein reflux is the direct cause of your pelvic venous congestion, our vascular specialists and vein doctors will discuss both medical and minimally-invasive treatment options:

  • NSAIDs: Treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may help relieve the patient’s pain for the short term. Analgesia is a good first-line option
  • Hormonal treatments
  • Pelvic ovarian vein embolization: This is a minimally-invasive treatment that is safe and can be done as a day-case. You come in for the procedure in the morning and can leave a few hours later the same day. In most cases, it is the ovarian vein that is the cause of the varicose veins. However, other pelvic veins such as veins such as internal iliac veins, internal pudendal veins, obturator veins and ischial veins may also be responsible and will need treatment as well.

Seeking Treatment for Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome?

When you schedule a consultation at the Princeton Vascular Center, you will be meeting with the best vascular specialists and vein doctors in NJ. A vein doctor will perform a physical examination, examining the appearance of your legs and taking into consideration any areas of concern you may have. It’s important to inform your vein doctor any symptoms you are experiencing, such as leg pain.

Contact the best vein treatment center serving Princeton, Mt. Laurel, and the surrounding areas of New Jersey.

 

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