Pelvic Venous Congestion (PVCS)

Pelvic Venous Congestion Treatment
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    Most people know varicose veins mostly affect the feet and legs. But varicose veins can also occur in the pelvis causing chronic pelvic pain in women; this condition is known as Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome (PVCs) or ovarian vein reflux. Herein is a look at the condition, the risk factors, causes, symptoms, and treatment options. Read on to find out more.

    Facts About Pelvic Venous Congestion

    What is pelvic venous congestion syndrome (PVCs)? Pelvic Venous congestion is the enlargement of blood vessels in the pelvis due to faulty vein valves in the lower abdomen. See, veins have valves to guide blood flow towards the heart. However, these valves become faulty in some cases due to damage or other problems causing blood to flow backward. When this happens in the lower abdomen, blood builds up in the area, causing the veins to enlarge and change shape.

    Therefore, PVCs are varicose veins in your pelvis. This engorgement or congestion of blood vessels in the lower abdomen can cause chronic, unbearable pain. It affects at least 1 in three women at some point during their lifetime. Chronic PVCs last more than six months. It is not associated with period pain at all. PVCs are common among women who’ve given birth more than once.


    Chronic PVCs last longer than half a year. PVCs are commonly experienced for the first time during or following pregnancy. It is characterized by a heavy aching feeling that may get worse as pregnancy progresses. In most cases, you feel the pain on the left side only. But at other times, you may feel the pain on both the left and right sides. PVCs pain is usually worse during the evenings.

    Certain factors also aggravate PVCs pain; these include:

    • When you change posture
    • Sex
    • Standing for extended periods
    • Walking
    • Menstrual period

    Apart from pelvis pain, other PVCs symptoms include:

    • Pain during or after intercourse
    • Sudden urge to urinate
    • Lower back pain
    • Irritable bowel syndrome (diarrhea and constant abdominal pain accompanied with constipation)
    • Deep dyspareunia – pain during intercourse
    • Feeling one’s legs fuller
    • Engorged and distorted veins around the vagina, vulva, inner thigh, buttocks, and sometimes down the legs

    Causes of Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome

    • Enlarged veins are indeed the major cause of pelvic congestion and pain. However, some women have enlarged veins without the symptoms. Therefore, scientists are still trying to understand the causes of the syndrome. In most cases, factors such as pregnancies and polycystic ovaries enlarge blood vessels and cause symptoms.
    • Still, in other cases, hormones may play a role in developing pelvic venous congestion syndrome (PVCs). For example, estrogen is well-known to cause dilation of veins. This may be why the condition affects women between ages 20 and 45 mostly; because, after menopause, estrogen levels decrease.
    • Weight, too, and pelvic structural changes during pregnancy may contribute to the development of the syndrome. For example, weight exerts excess pressure within the lower abdomen veins, weakening their walls and enlarging.

    Risk Factors

    Who is at risk of pelvic venous congestion? Women are predisposed to PVCs because of the estrogen hormone. Stats show that women between ages 20 and 45 are most likely to be affected. Factors that commonly cause the condition include:

    • More than one pregnancy
    • Retroverted or tipped uterus
    • Polycystic ovaries
    • Fuller leg veins
    • Increase in estrogen levels

    How is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Diagnosed?

    There are various ways to diagnose pelvic congestion with Pedes Orange County state-of-art diagnostic and testing. These include CTs and MRI scans, pelvic venography, and ultrasounds. However, it’s not easy to diagnose the syndrome because while many women experience pelvic pain, not all are due to congestion of blood vessels. Indeed, some pelvic pains have psychological origins, others are caused by issues within the reproductive, gastrointestinal, and urinary system, and still, others are caused by bones or muscles.

    Therefore, your doctor will consider all the above and ask for urine and blood samples, consider your health history, etc. However, X-rays, MRIs, CTS, and Ultrasound are the surest ways of detecting pelvic congestion.

    Congestions in the pelvis and lower abdomen can be diagnosed using ultrasound techniques. It’s a technique that helps visualize backflow in the veins in the ovary and identify enlarged veins. If you want to get a pelvic or abdominal ultrasound, consult with Pedes Orange County.

    Abdominal and pelvic ultrasounds help visualize backflow in ovarian veins. But it doesn’t provide enough information, and therefore, CTs and MRIs may be used to take further images. CTS and MRIs help evaluate the pelvis

    In some situations, ultrasound alone may not provide all the necessary information, and your physician may want to obtain additional imaging. For example, CT and MRI are used to take detailed pictures.

    Pelvic venography uses X-rays to take images of veins in the pelvis. It’s the most definitive pelvic screening technique for checking congestion. It’s a minimally invasive technique that involves the use of a catheter. The tube is inserted into the venous system via the neck or groin and then guided into the veins in the ovary using X-rays. Then, using an iodine-based dye, the medical specialist obtains images of the pelvic structure on a fluoroscopy machine.

    After obtaining the images, the catheter is removed. The doctor will then apply slight pressure on the puncture area to stop bleeding. You will be discharged 1 to 4 hours later. Pelvic venography may also be used as a treatment when it’s combined with pelvic embolization.

    pelvic venography - Pedes Orange County
    pelvic venous congestion - Doppler ultrasound

    When Should I Contact My Doctor?

    Some women have enlarged veins with no symptoms; others have enlarged veins that cause pains and aches. In most cases, these don’t require a medical emergency. The symptoms should reduce as you head into menopause. However, in case of chronic, unbearable pain, nothing is stopping you from seeking medical help. In fact, see your healthcare giver right away for help.

    To get the most out of the consultation, here’s what to do:

    • Know the purpose of the visit and what you want to get from it
    • Before visiting the doctor, put down questions you need them to answer.
    • Bring company along to help ask questions and note down points from the doctor.
    • Please write down the name of the diagnosis, its tests, and treatment options explained by the doctor. Also, take notes of any new instructions during each visit.
    • Know the reasons for new medication prescriptions, their benefits, and their risks.
    • Inquire whether it’s possible to treat your condition another way
    • Know why and what the results of a test procedure mean
    • Ask what will happen if you don’t undergo testing or take medication.
    • Ask whether a follow-up appointment is available and note down the visit’s time, date, and reason.
    • Ask the doctor for their contacts in case you need a further chat.
    Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PVCs), Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

    What are the Pros and Cons of Pelvic Vein/Ovarian Embolization?

    • Embolization of the ovarian vein or pelvic vein has already been demonstrated to be a safe procedure for relieving pain sensations and improving varicose vein appearance.
    • Embolization helps shut off affected veins, easing pressure from them, so they reduce in size.
    • It’s a minimally invasive technique requiring only a tiny incision in the skin. You won’t even need stitches.
    • Fewer complications than traditional surgery. You also lose less blood, and the incision mark is not even visible. You won’t also need to stay in the hospital for long.
    • 85% of women who undergo the procedure report feeling much better within 14 days of the operation
    • You may be allergic to the iodine-based dye and a contrast agent used to take detailed images.
    • A small number of women develop infections after embolization.
    • Since the procedure involves placing a tube inside blood vessels, it may damage them or cause bruising and bleeding at the point of incision.
    • If an embolic agent migrates to the wrong place, it may cut off the oxygen supply to the tissue, i.e., non-target embolism
    • There’s a 10 % chance that the varices may develop in the veins again.
    • It exposes the ovaries to radiation. However, studies have not found any links between the procedure and infertility or abnormal periods.
    Pelvic Venous Congestion (PVCs) - pelvic-veins

    Treatments for Pelvic Venous Congestion (PVCs)

    What are the treatment options for pelvic venous congestion (PVCs)? Available treatment options for PVCs include pain-relieving progestin hormone drugs, ovarian function-blocking Gonadotropin-releasing hormones, pelvic venous embolization

    Pelvic Venous Congestion (PVCS) Treatment
    Pelvic Venous Congestion (PVCS) Preventions

    Why Pedes Orange County

    Congestion of veins in the pelvis and lower abdomen is one of the major causes of pelvic pain. It happens when the vein valves lose functionality, preventing blood from flowing back. Symptoms include pain when standing, lifting, walking, and during or after intercourse. It’s also characterized by visible varices on the vulva, vagina, inner thigh, and sometimes the buttocks. This condition affects 13-40 percent of women between ages 20 and 45. Symptoms of pelvic venous congestion should reduce after menopause. Still, before that, you can also seek medical diagnosis and treatment to ease the pain and improve the appearance of the veins.

    Hopefully, this is enough to help you decide what to do. Pelvic venous congestion consultation and treatment services in Pedes Orange County, contact our offices to speak with an expert.

    What to Expect from Your Visit to Pedes



    Your treatment will begin with an ultrasound examination of your veins, arteries, or both, in your legs to diagnose the presence and extent of the disease. Your test results will be immediately available to review with the doctor.