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Relief for chronic pelvic pain might just be here

  • News
  • 3 min read

There are many conditions that may cause chronic pelvic pain. And patients may see many different specialists before pelvic varicose veins are diagnosed.

Pelvic varicose veins are varicose veins around the uterus and ovaries. These abnormal pelvic veins allow blood to pool in the pelvis, rather than being returned to the heart.

Risk factors include multiple pregnancies, previous pelvic surgery and family history.

Do you have any of these pelvic varicose veins symptoms?

Typical symptoms of pelvic varicose veins include a feeling of heaviness and pain in the pelvis. Many have an urge to pass urine frequently and suffer pain during intercourse. Symptoms may have been going on for months or years. Varicose veins may be also be visible in some women around their vulva or on their legs, particularly on the inner thigh or the back of the thigh.

Many women have been to their family doctor for chronic pelvic pain and been referred to gynaecologists, urologists and gastroenterologists in their search for a diagnosis. Fibroids, endometriosis, chronic pelvic and urinary infections are also common causes of pelvic pain. But pelvic varicose veins is the cause in up to 30%.

Pelvic varicose veins may be the cause of pain in 30% of women.

Diagnosis for chronic pelvic pain

First, we offer an indepth chat with our specialist nurse. They will consider whether an abdominal ultrasound, a transvaginal ultrasound, a CT or an MR scan are needed. After which they will refer you to our vascular surgeon for a consultation.

Cropped View of Woman Having Pelvic Ultrasound Scan
Ultrasound can assess blood flow within the pelvic veins.

What treatment options we offer

Minimally invasive X-ray techniques, such as coiling (embolisation), are an effective way of reducing the symptoms of pelvic varicose veins. Our team of vascular surgeons and interventionist radiologists perform these procedures, supported by out team of specialist nurses.

Minimally,Invasive,Treatments for Ovarian Veins  for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Embolisation of an ovarian vein for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome.

Coiling seals the abnormal pelvic veins. Common veins sealed by coils include the ovarian veins and branches of the internal iliac veins.  The ultrasound, CT or MR scans identify these abnormal veins for the team. Sealing by coils is under X-ray guidance. Typically done under local anaesthetic with a small amount of sedation. Coil sealing is a day procedure. Often performed at the same time as coil sealing, sclerotherapy, which involves introducing a small amount of varicose vein irritant in the varicose veins in the pelvis.

Overall, treatment of pelvic varicose veins with coil sealing and sclerotherapy can reduce a woman’s pelvic pain symptoms. Vulval varicose veins also respond well to this treatment 1.

Other treatment options, usually by a gynaecologist, in conjunction with a person’s GP, may include hormonal treatments. Hormonal treatments aim to reduce the amount of blood flow within the pelvis by suppressing oestrogen levels.

Surgical treatments include hysterectomy, which may be appropriate in some cases.