What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
Pelvic congestion syndrome is a vascular condition that causes chronic pelvic pain in women caused by varicose veins that develop in the lower abdomen. With this syndrome, the presence of estrogen causes blood vessels to widen, which in turn can weaken the walls of the vessels and cause varicosities to develop. This condition often develops during or after a time of hormonal change, such as pregnancy.
Pelvic congestion syndrome manifests with a dull, aching pain that is sharper when standing or walking, as well as during sexual intercourse and just before the onset of menstruation each month.
Other common symptoms include vaginal pain, back pain, vaginal discharge, abdominal bloating, mood swings, depression and fatigue.
How is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Treated?
If you believe you have chronic pelvic pain, our doctor will first perform a physical examination, a Pap smear or lab tests to rule out conditions such as cervical cancer.
Pelvic congestion syndrome is typically diagnosed using an ultrasound or another imaging modality, such as a pelvic venogram (in which dye is injected into the veins), an MRI or a CT scan.
Once a diagnosis of pelvic congestion syndrome is determined, an ovarian vein embolization is often considered the most effective procedure. This minimally invasive procedure entails sealing the faulty vein, which relieves painful pressure in the area.
Embolization is exceedingly safe, with most women able to return to normal activities immediately, and with 85 to 95 percent of women reporting effective relief of symptoms.
In addition to or in place of embolization, analgesics or other pain control medications may be recommended or prescribed. Some women find that birth control pills used to curtail menstruation greatly reduce the symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome.
While a small percentage of women have varicose veins in the pelvic area, many have not been diagnosed. Pelvic congestion syndrome is more common among women between the ages of 20 and 45, those who have had more than two pregnancies, those who also have varicose veins in the legs and those who also have polycystic ovaries or hormone dysfunction.
If you’re experiencing unexplained pelvic pain and believe you may have pelvic congestion syndrome, treatment is available. At Miami Vein Center in Miami, a board certified vascular surgeon Dr. Almeida and his highly skilled medical team are committed to not only diagnosing pelvic congestion syndrome in patients, but also treating this syndrome safely and effectively. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.