What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) happens when veins in and around the pelvis become enlarged. These enlarged veins can cause reduced blood flow often resulting in chronic and, at times, debilitating pain. 

PCS is most common during childbearing age. Women who have had one child have an increased risk, as do women who have a family member who has experienced PCS.

What are the symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

Some common symptoms are:

  • Pelvic pain or aching that worsens as the day progresses
  • Pelvic pain that worsens during menstruation, after sex, or after certain physical activities
  • Swollen vulva
  • Varicose veins in the genital region or legs
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Low back pain
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Fatigue
  • Urinary frequency or incontinence
Asian woman with pelvic pain

What is Pelvic Vein Embolization?

Pelvic vein embolization is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure. It is usually performed in an outpatient setting and involves the use of local anesthetic and limited sedation.

Although there are other treatment options, embolization is most often the preferred treatment when PCS is diagnosed. The procedure is used to minimize the abnormal blood flow causing the painful symptoms.

During the procedure, a thin tube (called a catheter), about the size of a strand of spaghetti, is inserted through a vein in your groin, neck or wrist and guided to the affected area in your pelvis. To seal the faulty, enlarged vein and relieve the pressure from the excessive blood flow, tiny plugs (known as “coils”) are inserted along with a medication to promote scar tissue formation (a sclerosing agentidentical to what is used to close varicose veins).

This outpatient procedure involves mild to moderate sedation and takes a little over an hour, and then the patient is monitored for a few hours before typically being released to go home. After the procedure patients are usually able to return to a normal work routine within a week. Mild symptoms can occur during recovery including nausea and discomfort. More than 75% of patients experience improvement in their symptoms.

Is this treatment right for you?

Depending on the your symptoms and their severity, treatment can be medical therapy, surgical treatment or embolization. When PCS is diagnosed, embolization is most often the indicated treatment.

An informative and caring process

Our patients want to make informed decisions about treatment with a trusted, world-class medical group that supports an effective pain management plan. 

We have responded with processes that are minimally invasive and limit your loss of work and personal time. Our experienced physicians and staff keep you informed at each step of the process. 

We always provide a personalized evaluation, treatment, and pain management plan. Our support continues after treatment with a comprehensive follow up plan. 

Reach out to us today.

woman talking to doctor about pelvic congestion syndrome