Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Pain occurs due to blood pooling in veins of the pelvis due to gravity and incompetent valves.
Pelvic congestion syndrome is a common cause of chronic pelvic pain (pain lasting more than 6 months). Pain occurs due to blood pooling in veins of the pelvis due to gravity and incompetent valves. As a result, veins in pelvis become dilated and convoluted (pelvic varicose veins). The resulting pain is sometimes debilitating.
Estrogen may contribute to the development of these veins. It is estimated that one-third of all women will experience chronic pelvic pain in their lifetime. Sometimes pain that occurs before or during menstrual periods results from pelvic congestion syndrome.
- Typically, the pain is a dull ache, but it may be sharp or throbbing.
- It is worse at the end of the day (after women have been sitting or standing a long time) and is relieved by lying down.
- The pain is also worse during or after sexual intercourse.
- It is often accompanied by low back pain, aches in the legs, and abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Ovarian vein embolization and sclerotherapy of pelvic varicose veins
- A thin, flexible tube (catheter) is inserted through a small vein puncture under X-ray guidance and advanced to area of treatment. Tiny coils are deployed through the catheter into the ovarian vein(s) to block blood flow which is then redirected to healthy veins. The pelvic varicose veins are then treated with injection of solution which causes them to close.