Pelvic congestion syndrome causes chronic pain and is underdiagnosed. If you have symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome, Praveen Balraj, MD, FACS, RPVI, of the Vascular Institute of Arizona in Queen Creek, Arizona, can help. Dr. Balraj is a board-certified vascular and endovascular surgeon who offers minimally invasive ovarian vein embolization (OVE) to fix pelvic congestion syndrome. To relieve your pelvic pain, call the Vascular Institute of Arizona today or book an appointment online.
Pelvic congestion syndrome develops when the veins in your pelvis start to fill with blood. This causes ongoing pain or pain that comes and goes. You might get pelvic congestion syndrome if the valves inside your pelvic veins stop working.
A healthy vein’s valves act as a one-way system that stops blood from flowing backward. If the valves can’t form an effective seal, blood trickles back and pools in the veins. This problem (called chronic venous insufficiency) also causes varicose veins.
Pelvic congestion syndrome is not uncommon and mainly affects women 20-50 years old.
Hormone imbalances are a leading cause of pelvic congestion syndrome. High levels of estrogen, the female sex hormone, can cause the pelvic veins to dilate, affecting the function of the valves. Perimenopause often causes an estrogen imbalance. Being obese is another cause, or you might suffer from polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Underlying vein conditions like May-Thurners syndrome and nutcracker syndrome can also lead to pelvic congestion. You’re more likely to develop the disease if you’ve had two or more pregnancies or you’ve got varicose veins in your legs.
The most accurate way to diagnose pelvic congestion syndrome is with transvaginal ultrasound, pelvic venography, or an MRI.
Pelvic congestion syndrome is probably underdiagnosed. It can be hard to see the bulging veins during a routine exam. This is because lying down reduces the pressure on the veins. Unless your primary care provider sees you standing, they might not realize your chronic pelvic pain is caused by pelvic congestion syndrome.
Dr. Balraj treats pelvic congestion syndrome using ovarian vein embolization (OVE). OVE is a minimally invasive procedure during which Dr. Balraj inserts a thin tube (catheter) into a vein in your groin.
Dr. Balraj seals small veins using a foam irritant that causes the veins to close up. For larger veins, he uses Dacron filaments-bearing coils to clot your blood and seal the vein. Blood can’t flow along the treated veins and finds an alternative route.
After OVE, your circulation improves, and your pelvic pain goes away. Eventually, your body absorbs the remains of the treated veins.
Find out how to get the correct diagnosis and treatment for pelvic congestion syndrome by calling the Vascular Institute of Arizona today or booking an appointment online.