Who Can Get It?
Up to 15 percent of women, generally between the ages of 20 and 50, have varicose veins in the pelvis, although not all experience symptoms. The diagnosis is often missed because women lie down for a pelvic exam, relieving pressure on the ovarian veins, so that the veins no longer bulge with blood as they do while a woman is standing. Many women with pelvic congestion syndrome, spend many years trying to get an answer to why they have this chronic pelvic pain.
Risk Factors for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is a painful condition where the veins of the pelvis become enlarged due to an excess buildup of blood in them. This buildup is typically caused by valves in the veins failing to work properly. When this happens, blood can no longer circulate like it should, leading to a buildup of blood in the veins.
Since Pelvic Congestion Syndrome affects veins in the pelvis in much the same way as varicose veins affect veins in the legs, the two conditions often occur together
Excess estrogen causes pelvic veins to dilate and can lead to Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. Common causes for increased estrogen include insulin resistance, the onset of menopause and obesity
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is common in women who have been pregnant multiple times
This condition, in which a woman has small cysts (fluid-filled growths), on her ovaries, which are not harmful themselves, can lead to hormonal imbalances that result in Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Ovarian Vein Embolization (OVE)
What Is OVE?
Ovarian Vein Embolization is a procedure where a doctor inserts a thin catheter to close off swollen veins in the pelvis, thus preventing them from continuing to swell with blood.
The procedure only requires a small nick in the skin, about the size of a grain of rice. This means less pain and virtually no scarring. Plus, you can usually get back to your daily activities in just a few days!
We use conscious sedation during the procedure and you can go home the same day! The actual procedure typically takes less than an hour, depending on the severity of the case.
What Are the Success Rates of OVE?
Ovarian Vein Embolization is a safe, effective procedure with a very high success rate. In fact, 90% of women who undergo the procedure reported an improvement of their symptoms.
How is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Diagnosed?
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is often diagnosed using pelvic ultrasound imaging or MRIs, as well as through a patient's medical history. Less commonly, other methods of diagnosis may be necessary.