Millions of women worldwide experience chronic pelvic pain. Chronic pelvic pain is described as pain in the pelvic area (lower abdominal area) for more than six months.
The causes of pelvic pain vary, but research has shown pelvic congestion syndrome to be one of the leading factors for chronic pelvic pain. Pelvic vein congestion is similar to varicose veins of the legs. The veins within the pelvic area (around the uterus and ovaries) become convoluted. Normal veins carry blood to the heart against the force of gravity. Thus, the valves within veins can become weak causing blood to be regurgitated back into the vein. This can also cause veins to stretch abnormally due to blood pooling in the veins. The increased pressure on the vein can cause pain.
Symptoms: This pain is typically dull and achy, but may sometimes be sharp or throbbing. The pain is often aggravated by sitting and standing, while relief is provided by lying down. This may cause the pain to feel worse towards the end of the day. The pain may feel worse after sexual intercourse and certain physical activities, like biking or horseback riding. It sometimes may be accompanied by a clear, white discharge or bleeding from the vagina.
Causes:Though the causes of pelvic vein congestion syndrome are not fully known, hormonal problems, obesity and anatomical changes during pregnancy may be contributing factors.
Treatment: Due to advances in medical technology, non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment options are available for pelvic vein congestion syndrome. Dr. Kishor Vora of Owensboro Heart and Vascular has successfully treated pelvic vein congestion syndrome with a procedure known as pelvic vein coil embolization. In this procedure, also known as percutaneous transcatheter embolization, a small incision is made in the skin, and a catheter is guided into the affected area via x-ray guidance of a fluoroscopy machine. A special dye, or contrast is injected into the vein to visualize the treatment area, and coil is inserted into the bulging varices. This process effectively closes the enlarged vein. This is an outpatient procedure, and the patient is able to return to work within a week of having the procedure performed.