Do you struggle with ongoing pelvic pain even though you don’t have a gynecologic condition? If so, there’s a good chance you have pelvic congestion syndrome, because it accounts for a third of all cases of chronic pelvic pain.
The most important thing to know about pelvic congestion syndrome is that you don’t need to live with the pain. Kishore K. Arcot, MD, at Memphis Vein Center specializes in a minimally invasive technique called coiling, safely and effectively treating the problem and easing your pain.
Let’s talk about pelvic congestion syndrome
You’re likely familiar with the bulging, blood-engorged varicose veins that can develop in your legs. But you might not know that you can develop a similar problem in the veins associated with your uterus, a condition called pelvic congestion syndrome.
Like all varicose veins, the pelvic veins become congested (engorged with blood) when valves inside the vein fail. The non-functioning valves let blood flow in the wrong direction, and then it quickly builds up in the vein.
Pelvic congestion syndrome often begins during pregnancy, when your veins expand to accommodate the increase in blood volume. This change puts extra pressure on valves, making them fail and leading to pelvic congestion syndrome.
We can discover if you have pelvic congestion syndrome using specialized vascular ultrasound. The detailed images clearly reveal varicose veins in your pelvis, allowing us to accurately diagnose the condition.
Pelvic congestion syndrome symptoms
Pelvic congestion syndrome primarily causes pelvic pain that can be severe. The pain worsens with prolonged standing or walking. It also feels worse before and after menstrual periods and during sexual intercourse.
Some women experience lower back or leg pain. You may also notice varicose veins in your thighs or buttocks.
How coiling works
Coiling is the common name for a procedure known by several medical names. You may hear it called endovascular embolization, ovarian vein embolization, or ovarian coiling.
Coiling refers to the tiny metallic coils used to block (embolize) the diseased vein. We place the coils inside the damaged vein using a narrow, flexible catheter that we guide through your blood vessels (endovascular).
We begin by making a tiny cut and inserting the catheter into blood vessels in your groin area. Using real-time imaging, we guide the catheter through your blood vessels to the congested ovarian veins, and then we use the catheter to release the coils into the vein.
The coils stay in place, stopping the backward-flowing blood. Before long, the diseased vein collapses, eliminating the problem and giving you relief from pelvic pain.
Recovery after coiling
You lie down for a few hours after your procedure, but you go home the same day. You may have cramping for a day and watery discharge that could last a few weeks. Though most women go back to their usual activities the same day, we advise you to avoid heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for a few weeks.
To learn if your pelvic pain is caused by pelvic congestion syndrome, call our Memphis, Tennessee, center or request an appointment online today.