Vein disease can take on many appearances, from the simple spider veins found mostly on the legs to the more obvious varicose veins to the rare pelvic venous congestion syndrome, vein health is not something to take lightly. Also known as ovarian vein reflux, pelvic venous congestion syndrome is caused by varicose veins found in the pelvic region and can be a cause of pelvic pain and discomfort mostly for women of child bearing age. If you have varicose veins that appear on the anterior leg, medial thigh, or gluteus region accompanied by a dull ache in the pelvic area, the possibilities are high that you are experiencing symptoms of this rare syndrome.
Most women who have varicose veins in their pelvic areas never show symptoms of the syndrome, but approximately 13 to 40 percent of women will experience some pain. This pain seems to develop during pregnancy, and if the patient becomes pregnant more than once, will get more severe during each successive pregnancy. In most cases, it appears in women who have had more than one pregnancy in their lifetime and almost never develops after the age of 45.
The pain can be worse at the end of the day or while walking and is often relieved by lying down. The sufferer may experience lower back pain, leg pains, and it may also affect the patient’s menstrual cycle. Exhaustion, headaches, and bloated abdomens are also symptoms, and the patient can suffer from mood swings as well; these symptoms are also typical cycle issues, so it may be difficult to determine the cause. A doctor’s examination may reveal tender ovaries and discomfort in the cervix during a pelvic exam. Also, pain in the flank, the area on the body between the rib cage and the ilia, can be present.
Once an examination has determined the patient is suffering from ovarian vein reflux (through ultrasonography, venography, computed tomography, MRI, magnetic resonance venography or even laparoscopy), there will be various options for treatment. The first step in treating the pain is though a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug treatment (NSAID). If this doesn’t work, the doctor may block blood flow to the vein by embolization or sclerotherapy, ceasing the blood flow to the varicose veins and lessening or eliminating the pain.
Sometimes just knowing what your problems are can lessen the pain involved. If you feel you may be suffering from pelvic venous congestion syndrome or any other vein health issues, contact us to schedule an appointment with us today and we will immediately start the process of making you feel better.