The reasons behind painful intercourse are sometimes hard to determine, since sexual response is complex, depending on both physical and emotional factors that can coexist in many combinations.
When you have persistent pelvic pain or painful sex that resists conventional treatments, consider pelvic congestion syndrome, an underdiagnosed venous condition that may be contributing to your symptoms.
If these symptoms sound familiar, don’t ignore them. Come to MD Vein & Skin Specialists in Columbia, Maryland, for diagnosis and treatment of venous conditions like pelvic congestion syndrome. Dr. Clement Banda and our team are standing by to help you.
The role of veins in your circulatory system is to deliver spent blood back to the heart and lungs, where it’s recharged with oxygen and delivered to cells by the artery network. Facilitating the work of the veins, one-way valves ensure movement of blood toward the heart, since it’s often moving against gravity, far away from the pumping action of the heart.
Age, lifestyle, and hormone levels can all contribute to vein dilation. When veins expand, it contributes to failure of the valves, which can no longer fully close. This allows spent blood to backflow and pool. The same venous insufficiency that causes varicose veins in the legs can cause pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS).
A defining characteristic of PCS is that your pelvic pain lasts longer than six months. It’s common for pain to start during or after a pregnancy and it can be worse after subsequent pregnancies.
The pain itself can range anywhere from dull ache to sharp and severe. It tends to favor the left side, but pain can sometimes be present on both sides. Typically lightest in the morning, PCS pain usually gets worse by the end of your day.
As well as painful intercourse, PCS often causes pain during menstruation and while urinating. You may find that the nature of your pain is ever changing, with symptoms in varying combinations and intensities.
Many conditions share symptoms with PCS, making it hard to diagnose, even though about one-third of adult women may be affected. Dr. Banda typically uses a combination of physical examination and other testing, including:
Some patients have already had other causes ruled out by the time they seek care from a vein specialist, so an appointment with MD Vein & Skin Specialists may come part way through your search for an answer to your pelvic pain.
When your pelvic pain originates with vein issues, treatments tend to be similar to those used to remove varicose veins. Sclerotherapy uses a chemical irritant, sometimes simply a saline solution, injected into the problem veins. Your body reroutes circulation, blood flow stops in the treated veins, and your body reabsorbs the tissue. Embolization uses heat to accomplish a similar result. Surgical removal of damaged veins is also an option.
A comfortable and rewarding sex life is an important part of healthy living. Before you surrender to life with pelvic pain, make an appointment with MD Vein & Skin Specialists. You can contact their office at 443-267-2428. Book your consultation now.