Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is a common condition believed to be associated with enlarge venous network in the pelvis that could result in development of chronic pelvic pain.

As with varicose veins, the valves in the ovarian vein/s stop functioning properly, allowing blood to flow back into the pelvis (in this instance) instead of carrying it towards the heart. This causes the veins to bulge and pressure inside the veins to increase.

Varicose veins in the pelvis can also affect the uterus, ovaries and vulva.

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome remains one of the important causes of the chronic pelvic pain and varicose veins around vulva and vagina.

Typical features suggestive of a possible PCS are:

  • Lower abdominal and pelvic pain especially after prolonged standing and/or seating
  • Painful sexual intercourses (dyspareunia)
  • Heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding (haemorrhagia)
  • Pain on passing urine (dysuria)
  • Presence of vulval and vaginal varicose veins
  • Primary or recurrent varicose veins around upper part of the thigh

Treatment options:

Ovarian vein embolisation – this procedure involves a small incision being made in the groin and a small catheter being inserted into the body and guided to the location of the faulty vein(s) using live x-ray imaging for guidance. The surgeon then closes off the faulty vein(s) by sealing the ovarian vein(s) with special metal coils resulting in cessation of flow.