Women can spend years going to gynecologists and other doctors, searching for the cause of their chronic pelvic pain. All too often, their doctors can’t find the underlying reason for their pain. So women keep suffering.
The problem is that many doctors don’t look for pelvic congestion syndrome, even though it may cause 30%-40% of all cases of chronic pelvic pain. Or they may look but not find it because they’re not blood vessel experts.
If you struggle with ongoing pelvic pain and don’t have a gynecological condition, you owe it to yourself to meet with Kishore K. Arcot, MD, at Memphis Vein Center. As a vascular specialist, he frequently diagnoses pelvic congestion syndrome, then provides treatments that target the cause and ease your pain.
Pelvic congestion syndrome basics
Pelvic congestion syndrome occurs when blood backs up in the veins serving your uterus and ovaries. As a result, the veins become engorged and twisted, just like the varicose veins that develop in your legs.
In other words, pelvic congestion syndrome is the result of varicose veins in the area around your ovaries.
5 signs of pelvic congestion syndrome
These are the top five symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome:
Pelvic pain is the primary symptom of pelvic congestion syndrome. Unfortunately, pelvic pain can arise from many medical conditions affecting your reproductive organs (uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes), urinary tract, and the muscles and ligaments supporting the pelvic organs.
Pelvic congestion syndrome typically causes a persistent dull, aching pelvic pain, punctuated with occasional flare-ups of sharp or more severe pain.
Your pain gets worse during sexual intercourse and when you menstruate. It also intensifies after standing for a long time. Any activity that places extra pressure on your abdomen could make your pain worse.
Lower back pain
Studies indicate that half of women with pelvic congestion syndrome develop pain in their lower back. You may also feel pain on the side of your back (flank pain).
Varicose veins (in unexpected places)
Many women with pelvic congestion syndrome develop varicose veins at the top of their inner thigh and on the back of their thighs and/or buttocks. You may also have bulging veins around the front of your vagina or on the surface of your genitalia.
Urinary tract symptoms
You may experience pain when urinating, need to urinate frequently, or have a hard time urinating. Some women notice blood in their urine. You may also develop stress incontinence, which causes uncontrollable urine leakage when you sneeze, cough, laugh, or lift a heavy item.
Pelvic pain beginning during or after pregnancy
Pelvic congestion syndrome often begins during the third trimester of pregnancy or in the first few months after delivering your baby. During pregnancy, your blood vessels naturally expand to carry the extra blood flow, causing changes resulting in varicose veins.
Your risk of developing pelvic congestion syndrome increases with each baby and if you have large babies.
Relief for pelvic congestion syndrome
If you struggle with pelvic pain and your doctor can’t find a reason, it’s time to schedule an evaluation at Memphis Vein Center. Doctors who don’t specialize in vascular medicine often overlook pelvic congestion syndrome.
We provide comprehensive care, including diagnostic testing and performing minimally invasive treatments that eliminate the troublesome veins. For example, we specialize in ovarian vein embolization (coiling), which is successful in 99% of women.
Don’t put up with chronic pelvic pain. Call us at Memphis Vein Center in Memphis, Tennessee, or book an appointment online today.