Chronic Pelvic Pain/Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Q & A
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome a general medical term to describe a condition affecting the quality of life and productivity of over 10 million women in the US who experience chronic pelvic pain with no identified cause.
What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is a debilitating medical condition, affecting the lives of over 10 million American women. It is often caused by dilated ovarian veins. Those affected often suffer for years until the source of the pain is identified by a qualified physician who understands the condition and can treat it.
What causes Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
The most common cause of pelvic congestion syndrome is dilated ovarian veins. Increased blood flow in the pelvis during pregnancy can cause the veins to become dilated, and develop varicosities, leading to excess blood to backup and pool the veins. This pooling can lead to a feeling of heaviness, pressure and pain. This pain can be extreme and debilitating in some cases.
Who is at risk for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
Women of childbearing age who have had at least one child are most commonly affected.
What are the symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
Symptoms include pain in the pelvis or lower abdomen, fullness in the pelvis or upper legs, and pain during sexual intercourse.
What are common tests for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
Diagnostic imaging such as CT or Ultrasound can identify dilated pelvic veins and aid your doctor in making a diagnosis and developing a treatment plan for you.
How is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome treated?
Dilated pelvic veins can be treated in the office using minimally invasive techniques like vein embolization, in which the doctor treats the affected vein through a small catheter he inserts through a tiny incision. The procedure usually takes less than two hours; recovery is a couple of hours, and you can go home the same day and be back to normal activity the next day. Most patients report immediate, long-lasting relief from pain.