Most women who struggle with ongoing pelvic pain never imagine that they could have a vein problem. Yet it’s estimated that 30-40% of all cases of chronic pelvic pain are caused by pelvic congestion syndrome or varicose veins near the ovaries. The experienced team at Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care in Hobart, LaPorte, Munster, and Valparaiso, Indiana, has helped many women find relief from their pain with a minimally invasive treatment that safely eliminates the diseased veins. To learn more about treatment for pelvic congestion syndrome, call the nearest office, or schedule an appointment online today.
Pelvic congestion syndrome occurs when ovarian veins become engorged with blood. As a result, you develop varicose veins that are like those that appear in your legs, except they develop in your pelvic area near your ovaries.
Faulty valves inside the veins cause pelvic congestion syndrome. These valves normally keep blood flowing in one direction, but when a valve weakens or fails, blood flows backward.
When the refluxing blood reaches the next healthy valve in the vein, it can’t keep flowing backward. Instead, it accumulates in the vein, creating an enlarged and twisted vein.
Though the exact reason valves fail remains unknown, your risk of developing pelvic congestion syndrome increases during pregnancy.
When you’re pregnant, the veins naturally widen to accommodate the increase in blood flow. In some women, the veins may stay larger than normal after delivery, which puts pressure on the valves and leads to pelvic congestion syndrome.
The primary symptom of pelvic congestion syndrome is chronic pelvic pain. In many cases, the pain starts during pregnancy or after delivery.
The severity of the pain differs for each woman. Some experience sharp, severe pain, while others have a dull, aching pain.
The pain caused by pelvic congestion syndrome typically gets worse:
Some women also experience symptoms such as frequent urination, low back pain, and leg pain. You may also develop varicose veins on your buttocks, thighs, or external genitals.
Though hormonal medications may relieve your symptoms, they don’t treat the underlying problem. That’s why the team at Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care treats pelvic congestion syndrome with a minimally invasive procedure called ovarian vein embolization.
During the procedure, your provider makes a tiny incision in your leg and inserts a catheter into a large vein. Using real-time X-ray imaging (fluoroscopy), they guide the catheter through your blood vessels and into the enlarged ovarian veins.
Then they close the vein using one of several possible techniques. They may seal the vein using tiny coils or a glue-like substance. They can also inject a foam medication that makes the vein walls collapse.
After the veins are closed, your body naturally reroutes blood through the nearby healthy veins, and the varicose veins shrink, or your body absorbs them.
If you have ongoing pelvic pain, call Centers for Pain Control and Vein Care, or schedule an appointment online today.