pain is a very common problem in the United States, and accounts
for 10-15% of referrals to gynecologists and pain clinics. Dozens of
conditions can result in chronic pelvic pain. In many cases, the root
cause is never discovered, despite numerous tests and operations. For
some women, however, pelvic pain is caused by a condition known as
pelvic congestion sydrome (PCS), which may go undiagnosed simply
because physicians often fail to look for it.
Symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS)
The painful symptoms typically worsen as the day goes on, especially
for women who sit or stand all day, and then go away after a night of
sleep. The pain can also be worse during or following intercourse,
around menstrual periods, and after certain physical activities, such
as bicycling or horseback riding. Symptoms frequently don't appear
until a woman becomes pregnant and then they fail to resolve afterward.
Causes of pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS)
Pelvic congestion syndrome occurs when varicose veins develop around
the ovaries, similar to varicose
veins that occur in the legs. The valves in the veins no longer
function normally, blood backs up, and the veins become engorged or
"congested", which can be very painful. In men, a similar
condition can causes varicose veins to form on the scrotum, which is
known as a varicocele.
In women, however, these varicose veins are internal. Rarely do veins
appear on the vulva, thighs, or buttocks, which is why PCS is often