Symptoms

Symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

Many women with pelvic congestion syndrome spend many years trying to get an answer to why they have this chronic pelvic pain. Living with chronic pelvic pain is difficult and affects not only the woman directly, but also her interactions with her family, friends, partner, and her general outlook on life. Because the cause of the pelvic pain is not diagnosed, no therapy is provided even though there is therapy available.

If you have pelvic pain that worsens throughout the day when standing, you may want to seek a second opinion with one of our vein center interventional radiologist faculty.

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Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is a nationally recognized destination for those who require highly specialized cardiovascular care.

Prevalence

  • Women with pelvic congestion syndrome are typically less than 45 years old and in their child bearing years
  • Ovarian veins increase in size related to previous pregnancies. Pelvic congestion syndrome is unusual in women who have not been pregnant
  • Chronic pelvic pain accounts for 15% of outpatient gynecologic visits
  • Studies show 30% of patients with chronic pelvic pain have pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) as a sole cause of their pain and an additional 15% have PCS along with another pelvic pathology

Risk Factors

  • Two or more pregnancies and hormonal increases
  • Fullness of leg veins

The chronic pain that is associated with this disease is usually dull and aching. The pain is usually felt in the lower abdomen and lower back.

The pain often increases during the following times:

  • During or after intercourse
  • Menstrual periods
  • When tired or when standing (worse at end of day)
  • Pregnancy

Other symptoms include:

  • Irritable bladder
  • Abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Varicose veins on vulva, buttocks or thigh