Pelvic congestion syndrome 一 a condition marked by intense chronic pelvic pain 一 can affect both men and women, but it primarily occurs in women. It arises when varicose veins develop in the pelvic organs.
In women with pelvic congestion syndrome, varicose veins develop around the ovaries. These varicose veins become enlarged and dilated, leading to discomfort. Pain, however, is just one of the many symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome.
Here at Vascular Specialists, our team of board-certified, fellowship-trained vascular surgeons treat pelvic congestion syndrome with an ovarian vein embolization. Learning how to spot the signs of this condition can empower you to reach out for help from our team. Here’s what you need to know.
Symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome
Pelvic congestion syndrome can manifest in many ways, including:
Chronic pelvic pain
The hallmark symptom of pelvic congestion syndrome is chronic pelvic pain — lasting for six months or longer. The pain is typically described as a dull, aching sensation that may be intermittent or constant. The pain may worsen after long periods of standing or sitting, and it may be relieved when lying down.
Sensation of heaviness
In addition to chronic pelvic pain, you may also experience a sense of fullness or pressure in the pelvis. This discomfort may be accompanied by a feeling of heaviness or aching in the lower abdomen.
Many women with pelvic congestion syndrome report increased pain and discomfort during menstruation. The pain may be more intense and prolonged compared to typical menstrual cramps.
Visible varicose veins
Men with pelvic congestion syndrome may notice the tell-tale blue or bulging veins on their scrotum. Women can’t visualize their varicose veins related to pelvic congestion syndrome, but our team provides several diagnostic imaging tests — such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and pelvic venography — to confirm the presence of varicose veins on the ovaries.
Pelvic congestion syndrome can cause pain or discomfort during sexual intercourse, known as dyspareunia. Understandably, this can significantly impact your sexual health and overall quality of life.
Some individuals with pelvic congestion syndrome may experience urinary symptoms such as increased frequency, urgency, or a sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder. These symptoms may be caused by the enlarged veins pressing on the bladder.
Pelvic congestion can also affect the bowels, leading to symptoms such as constipation, bloating, or discomfort during bowel movements.
In some cases, pelvic congestion syndrome can cause pain or aching in the legs. This pain may be described as a dull, throbbing sensation and may worsen after prolonged standing or sitting.
It's important to note that the symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome can vary among individuals, and some people may experience more severe symptoms than others. If you have chronic pelvic pain or any of the aforementioned symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options.
We offer a variety of treatment options for varicose veins in your pelvic region, including embolization. Embolization essentially shuts down the problematic veins so blood is rerouted to other, healthier veins.
To schedule your appointment, call Vascular Specialists 一 conveniently located in Munster, Indiana, and Tinley Park, Illinois 一 to explore your potential treatment options for pelvic congestion syndrome.