Pelvic congestion syndrome is one of the causes of chronic pelvic pain, a condition very common in women that can potentially lead to significant disability. Approximately one thrid of all women will suffer from chronic pelvic pain at some point during their lifetime.
What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
Pelvic congestion syndrome occurs when varicose veins develop around the ovaries, similar to varicose veins that occur in the legs. The valves in the veins no longer function normally causing blood to back up. The veins become engorged or "congested" which can be very painful.
Varicose veins in the genital area or legs
Low back pain
Abnormal vaginal bleeding
Pelvic pain that worsens as the day goes on
Irritable bladder that sometimes leads to stress incontinence
CT or MRI
Ovarian vein embolization-During this procedure a catheter is placed directly into the abnormal ovarian vein and pelvic veins. Small metal coils or plugs are placed to block flow into the ovarian vein. Sclerosing agents can be injected into the pelvic varicose veins. This prevents the reversal of flow in the abnormal vein, which reduces the pressure within the enlarged pelvic veins. This procedure is typically performed as an outpatient and patients can return to normal activity in a few days. After ovarian embolization, approximately 75 percent of patients will report improvement in their symptoms.