Chronic Pelvic Pain Treatment
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is a result of varicose veins in your pelvis and occurs when the valves in the veins no longer function normally. Pain occurs as blood accumulates in the veins, which have become stretched and engorged. This chronic condition often results in a constant dull ache that can be aggravated by standing.
What You Need To Know
Risk Factors for Pelvic Venous Congestion
- Family history of varicose veins
Chronic pelvic pain associated with PCS is often felt in the lower abdomen and/or lower back. The pain can increase during menstrual periods, during or following intercourse, when tired or when standing for long periods of time and during pregnancy. Symptoms frequently don’t appear until a woman becomes pregnant and then they fail to resolve afterward.
- Irritable bladder
- Abnormal menstrual bleeding
- Vaginal discharge
- Varicose veins on vulva and/or thigh
How is PCS Diagnosed?
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome can be difficult to diagnose. Often, the condition is diagnosed with CT, MRI or Ultrasound.
How is PCS Treated?
There are a number of treatment options for PCS. We specialize in non-surgical embolization.
Your gynecologist or provider can prescribe hormonal medications to reduce blood flow and congestion of the varicose veins. If these medications are ineffective, a minimally-invasive procedure should be considered.
This non-surgical treatment blocks the blood flow to help alleviate your PCS symptoms. During this procedure, the interventional radiologist will insert a thin catheter into a blood vessel through a small nick in the skin and, using X-ray guidance, thread the catheter to the veins that need to be treated. The abnormal veins will be treated with medication and/or a device designed to block blood flow, causing the veins to shrink and eventually disappear. In most cases, this procedure can alleviate your symptoms without the risk and recovery of more invasive procedures such as a hysterectomy or other surgical procedure.
What To Expect
Once we work with you to determine a treatment plan, one of our vascular staff or interventional radiologists will review any pre- and post-instructions for your procedure. You will be walked through your procedure so you know exactly what to expect. If you have questions, at any time, please ask. We want you to feel informed every step of the way.
Do you have PCS?
PCS can be hard to diagnose. The following questions can help determine if a consultation is right for you.
- Do you have pelvic pain?
- Do you have pelvic pain while lying down?
- Do you have pelvic pain while standing?
- Do you have pain in your leg(s) with menstruation?
- Do you have pelvic pain during and following intercourse?
- Do you have the urge to urinate more frequently than usual?
- Do you take pain medication on a regular basis?