Pelvic congestion syndrome, also called pelvic venous insufficiency, is a form of varicose veins in the pelvic region. Enlarged pelvic veins cause pelvic vein congestion.  This happens when the pelvic veins that supply blood to the uterus or ovaries dilate, or widen, causing blood to flow backward and pool in the veins. As a result, chronic pelvic pain may develop, making it difficult to walk and stand.

This condition often develops after pregnancy and can significantly affect your quality of life.While the condition is thought to be affected by hormone fluctuations related to pregnancy, the disorder can occur in women who have never had children. It is commonly treated using a process known as vein embolization.

Why would I need pelvic congestion syndrome imaging?

For women enduring severe pelvic discomfort, pelvic congestion syndrome imaging and embolization can provide significant relief.

The most effective imaging technology for pelvic congestion syndrome is venogram.

While pelvic congestion syndrome has several hallmarks, including enlarged veins on the thighs and buttocks and persistent pelvic pain, the disorder can be challenging to diagnose definitively. If you struggle with pelvic pain, your medical team must rule out numerous conditions, such as urinary, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal disorders. Sometimes, mental health issues contribute to the symptoms.

In addition to pelvic imaging, standard diagnostic tests for pelvic vein congestion include:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Gynecological exam
  • Diagnostic laparoscopy

Once pelvic congestion syndrome has been conclusively diagnosed, it can be treated using a process called pelvic vein embolization. This procedure blocks the flow of blood through the enlarged veins permanently.