What is Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome? (Failures Observed in Ovarian/Testicular Veins)

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

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What is Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome?

(Failures Observed in Ovarian/Testicular Veins)

What is Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome?

Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome is a chronic disease manifested by prolonged pain in the lower part of the trunk. This disease, which is also translated as Pelvic Obstruction Syndrome, is known as uterine varicose.

It is caused by the occlusion of the blood vessels in the pelvis and the accumulation of excess blood in this area. The pelvis is a structure located in the lower part of the body.

It is intertwined with different organs and systems. It is associated with the reproductive, urinary and digestive systems. And it supports the lower part of our body.

It carries almost half of a person’s body weight. There is no definite information about its incidence in the population. However, 1 out of 10 patients presenting with long-term abdominal pain has pelvic obstruction.

If we list other known names:

  • Chronic Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome
  • Chronic Pelvic Venous Obstruction Syndrome
  • Taylor Syndrome
  • Genital Area Varices
  • Uterine Heirs


What are the Causes of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

The most basic cause of Pelvic Obstruction Syndrome is the presence of obstruction and dilatation in the pelvic veins (retroaortic right and left renal vein).

Other situations are:

  • Having a history of two or more births
  • Abnormal increase in hormone levels
  • Presence of occlusion in the leg veins or a history of deep vein thrombosis
  • Presence of polycystic ovaries
  • Hormonal imbalances and some dysfunctions
  • Congenital anatomical smallness in the pelvis region
  • Expansion of uterine vessels for any reason

What Causes Pelvic Congestion?

“Pelvic Congestion Syndrome”, known among the people as “expansion of the uterine vessels”, can occur for many different reasons. The majority of people with this syndrome first complain of a blunt pain that radiates to the groin or groin and causes great discomfort.

What Are the Symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

As a result of the blockages in the pelvic region, as I described above, some symptoms will occur in people.

  • A throbbing pain in the trunk area (also known as chronic pelvic pain).
  • Backache
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding (menstrual periods are problematic.)
  • Fatigue and weakness easily
  • Irritable bladder
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Mood disorder or depression may also occur.


What Are the Complications of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

A number of complications can be seen in patients who are not intervened or treated in a timely manner.


  • Possible bone fractures and dislocations
  • Vein occlusions
  • Disruption of the circulatory system
  • Severe pain in the pelvic region that does not go away

The diagnosis of pelvic congestion syndrome can be made easily with advanced imaging methods such as computed tomography, ultrasound, and transvaginal ultrasonography in addition to the examination.

Factors Causing Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

The backflow of blood in the ovaries and pelvic veins due to insufficient valves is the main problem in the occurrence of pelvic congestion syndrome. However, the emergence of this syndrome may also be due to obstructive anatomical conditions and diseases.

In the following section, the reasons for the insufficiency of the valves in the pelvic and ovarian veins are listed:

  • Structural changes in the vein wall
  • Over-stimulation on these veins with the increase in estrogen
  • Primary changes in the structures of the valves

Another factor that causes “Pelvic Congestion Syndrome” is “multiple delivery”. Due to the fact that estrogen and progesterone hormones have vasodilating effects, “expansions”, that is, “varices”, occur in the intra-abdominal and leg veins, both due to hormonal reasons and due to the pressure of the baby in the womb on the veins of the mother during the pregnancy process.

This situation occurs within a certain period of time and generally develops due to the deterioration of the “venous valve mechanism” in the vein, that is, the “valves”.

However, weight gain during pregnancy and anatomical changes in pelvic structures due to pregnancy directly affect the venous blood flow in the pelvic region.

Due to the accumulation of blood in the pelvic and ovarian, that is, “ovarian” veins, the blood flow to healthy veins slows down and even comes to a halt.

From this point of view, “pelvic pain” usually occurs as a result of blood clotting (thrombosis) in the vein and the pressure exerted by the enlarged veins on the nearby nerves.

Special conditions that cut off the venous blood flow anatomically are listed in the following section:

  • May – Thurner Syndrome:

It is the compression of the right common iliac artery to the left common iliac vein.

  • Retro – Aortic Left Renal Vein:

It is the condition where the left renal vein is located behind the aorta and the left ovarian vein is exposed to pressure.

  • Nutcracker Syndrome:

It is a condition in which the left ovarian and left renal vein is compressed by the superior mesenteric artery.

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Diagnostic Methods

What are the Complaints of Patients with Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

  • Pelvic Pain: It is frequent and lasts longer than 6 months. It worsens in most patients, especially when standing and sitting. Pain occurs before or during menstruation at a substantial rate. However, during or immediately after sexual intercourse, the patient may experience pain that bothers him a lot.
  • Varicose formation in the groin area
  • Frequent urination
  • “Dysmenorrhea”, that is, the painful menstrual period
  • Formation of hemorrhoids (hemorrhoids) in the breech area
  • Discharge occurring in the vagina area
  • Pain around the waist
  • depression
  • Tiredness
  • Varicose formation in the vulva / vagina area
  • Discomfort in the breech area
  • Sensitivity in the abdomen or pelvis area
  • Swelling and fullness in the vulva region

How is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is still quite difficult, even if it is in a shorter and easier position compared to past times.

However, the diagnosis of the syndrome can be made at an earlier period in patients with highly significant varicose vasodilation in the vulva or vagina.

In addition to this condition, more than half of patients with pelvic congestion syndrome have ovarian cysts.

However, although the reason for this connection between pelvic congestion syndrome and the formation of ovarian cysts cannot be fully explained, it is thought that the connection arises due to excessive stimulation of the estrogen hormone.

Pelvic Ultrasonography Examination:

This examination can be done both “transabdominal”, that is, “through the abdomen” and “transvaginal”, that is, “through the vagina”. The contribution of “doppler ultrasonographic examination” to the detailed examination of the venous blood flow in the pelvic region is quite large.

Pelvic Computed Tomography (CT) Or Magnetic Resonance (MR) Imaging:

These methods are of critical importance for the detailed demonstration and examination of pelvic region varicose veins.

Both CT and MRI provide information on vascular structures and reveal their connections with other pelvic anatomical structures, especially “ovaries and uterus”.

Magnetic resonance imaging with contrast dye is a superior method compared to computed tomographic examination since it does not emit radiation during examination.

Diagnostic Venography:

In order to perform venographic examination, imaging devices used in the angiography department are needed. Generally, the right inguinal vein is used to perform this procedure.

With the help of wire and catheter (plastic tube) positioned in the inguinal vein, the left and right ovarian veins are viewed separately.

In this way, the diameters of the veins and the directions of blood flow in them are determined.

Laparoscopic Examination:

This examination should be applied especially for patients with severe chronic pelvic pain complaints.

Laparoscopic examination; In 80% to 90% of patients with pelvic varicose enlargement, the method is not beneficial because the method is performed lying down and carbon dioxide is injected into the abdomen during the application.

Because this examination causes shrinkage of varicose enlargements.

What is the Treatment for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

Medication can be tried in early-stage patients. Some drugs that will prevent vasodilation and restore hormone balance can reduce the rate of progression of the disease and sometimes stop the progression.

However, various pain relievers can be used to relieve pelvic pain. However, the most important technique in the definitive treatment of the disease is the embolization of the problematic pelvic veins, that is, their closure, by means of a catheter.

In these procedures performed through the inguinal or neck vein, enlarged, structurally impaired veins in the pelvic region are detected. These problematic vessels are closed with special equipment (coil, foam, sclerosing drugs, etc.).

The technical success of the pelvic venous embolization procedure is 99%, and the recurrence rate is below 10%.

The procedures can be performed in any season of the year, and the patients can be discharged on the same day and resume their work and social life the next day.

The timing of the procedure has nothing to do with the menstrual period. There is no change in fertility and menstrual pattern after the procedure.


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