Occasional pelvic pain is part of being a woman. Often, it’s something that accompanies your menstrual cycle, when bloating and cramping may take up a day or more of your month. When pelvic pain lasts longer than six months, though, you’re not dealing with ordinary pain. It’s now chronic, and it requires further investigation.
Varicose veins, most visible when they happen in your legs, can affect veins anywhere in your body. It’s thought that when veins inside the pelvis enlarge in a similar manner, some women may experience pain along with other symptoms, a condition called pelvic congestion syndrome.
Any time you’re suffering from conditions that may be associated with your veins, it’s time to contact MD Vein & Skin Specialists. Dr. Clement Banda has over 25 years as a phlebology and dermatology specialist, your best choice for pelvic congestion syndrome.
How pelvic congestion originates
When doctors speak of venous failure, it’s usually about the veins’ valves, features that maintain the one-way flow of blood back to the heart. These valves are critically important in the legs, where blood flow works against the force of gravity. As valves fail, blood starts to pool below the damaged valve. If you’re familiar with the appearance of varicose veins in the legs, you’ll know how failed valves cause blood pooling.
Pelvic and abdominal veins can fail too. While these aren’t visible through the skin like superficial veins in your legs, the same condition emerges, though with different symptoms due to the organs surrounding these failed veins.
Causes of vein failure
It’s not fully understood what causes pelvic congestion syndrome, or why enlarged veins affect some women and not others. Pregnancy may increase your risk by permanently enlarging veins, leading to valve failure and blood pooling. Multiple pregnancies seem to increase the risk of developing pelvic congestion syndrome.
Hormones may also play a role, since the presence of estrogen dilates veins. This could be why pelvic congestion syndrome isn’t common after menopause, when estrogen production declines dramatically. You’re also more likely to develop this syndrome if others in your family have it, too.
Pelvic pain symptoms
Pelvic congestion syndrome can be difficult to diagnose, since there are many other conditions that cause similar symptoms. Perhaps the most significant symptom is the long-lasting, chronic nature of your pelvic pain. Frequently, it starts during or after a pregnancy and it may get worse during subsequent pregnancies.
Pain usually occurs on the left side, though it can happen on the right side, too. There’s no common type of pain. It can be sharp or dull, or you could have a heavy, aching sensation. Symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome are usually worse late in the day.
Sometimes, certain movements aggravate your sensations. You may experience stronger pain when you’re walking or standing for extended periods. Changing positions or postures may also cause pain to flare. Sex may become painful, both during and after.
If you suspect you may be suffering from pelvic congestion syndrome, contact MD Vein & Skin Specialists to arrange a consultation. You can call the office directly or book your appointment online from the link provided on this page. There’s no need to live with constant pelvic pain, so schedule your examination today.