Pelvic Pain Due To Varicose Veins

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

It is estimated that nearly a third of all women experience chronic pelvic pain during their lifetime. Chronic pelvic pain or pelvic congestion syndrome is defined as pain lasting greater than six months.

The condition is notoriously difficult to diagnose because of the absence of any visible abnormalities on routine tests. In the most common situation, a woman experiencing symptoms consistent with pelvic congestion syndrome will have seen several specialists before arriving at a diagnosis. Clearly, a complete evaluation by a gynecologist is primary. Some general clues include chronic pelvic pain that is worse when sitting or standing (similar to varicose veins), relieved with lying down, and the presence of vulvar varicose veins.

The causes of pelvic congestion syndrome

  • Primary disease is secondary to varicosities in the pelvic and ovarian veins. This is more common with multiparous women, obesity, and genetic

  • Secondary conditions such as Nutcracker syndrome, May-Thurner Syndrome, and other obstructing syndromes

Chronic pelvic pain caused by reflux or obstruction of the gonadal, gluteal, or peri-uterine veins is called pelvic congestion syndrome. Incompetent venous valves in the pelvic veins can lead to reflux and development of pelvic varices. These dilated veins may sometimes be seen with ultrasound, CT, or MRI. These enlarged and abnormal veins are more common on the left, more likely in women who have had multiple pregnancies, and very similar in cause to lower extremity varicose veins.

Ovarian vein embolization is a minimally invasive treatment for pelvic congestion syndrome due to enlarged faulty veins causing congestion and pain.  Pelvic congestion syndrome, also known as ovarian vein reflux, is a painful condition resulting from the presence of varicose veins in the pelvis.  Similar to varicose veins in the legs , the cause of ovarian vein reflux is due to weakened valves that impair the return of blood to the heart causing bulging veins.  The increased pressure inside the pelvic veins leads to typical symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome including pain.   The diagnosis of the pelvic congestion syndrome can be made in one of several ways: pelvic venography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or  pelvic and trans-vaginal ultrasound.

Pelvic congestion syndrome treatment is divided into medical and procedural. Minimally-invasive techniques have supplanted traditional surgery and increased the use and success rates of the curative solutions.

Ovarian Vein Embolization? 

During this procedure, the North Jersey vein center performs a minimally-invasive procedures inside a radiology or procedure room.  Using a percutaneous technique, a catheter is inserted into the leg vein and guided towards the faulty veins in the pelvics. Using fluoroscopic guidance, the catheter is able to deliver coils that seal the faulty vein re-directing blood to the healthier parts of your circulation.  Increasingly, vein doctors in Clifton NJ are using medicated foam agents to treat even the smallest diseased veins similar to varicose veins in the legs.

The length of the procedure is generally 30 minutes to several hours depending on the complexity of the condition.

Pros and Cons of Treatment



  • High Success rates with coil embolization for treatment
  • Minimally invasive procedure with same day discharge. Reduced risks of complications vs traditional surgery
  • There is no need for sutures post procedure
  • General anesthesia is not required



  • Contrast material should be used cautiously in patients with renal disease
  • Contrast material has a small risk of allergic reactions
  • Risks of bleeding, infection or damage to the vein are rare but possible complications.

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