Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Chronic pelvic pain, defined as pain lasting six months or more, affects 15% of women in America. Many issues can cause this pain. But, did you know that a vascular problem could be one of them?
Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) is a condition that causes chronic pelvic pain due to problems with your veins in your lower abdomen. Veins carry blood from all areas of your body back to the heart. However, in some women, the veins in the lower abdomen have weakened, making their veins inefficient at moving the blood back up to their heart. This allows blood to build up or pool, causing pressure and bulging veins resulting in varicose veins in the pelvis.
Some sub-types of pelvic congestion syndrome include ovarian vein reflux, nutcracker syndrome, and May-Thurner syndrome.
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Who is at risk for pelvic congestion syndrome?
PCS mostly effects women of childbearing age. It is also common in women who have had two or more pregnancies and those who have a family history of venous disease.
What are the symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome?
The main symptom of pelvic congestion syndrome is pelvic pain that lasts at least six months. Often, the pain starts during or after a pregnancy. Many women describe the pain as a severe, dull ache that worsens around the time of their menstrual period. Others describe the pain as heavy or sharp.
Other symptoms include:
- Pain before or during a heavy menstrual flow
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Varicose veins on the external genitals, thighs and/or hemorrhoids