Interventional Radiology Clinic located in Houston, TX
Chronic pelvic pain affects millions of women worldwide, and pelvic varicose veins could be to blame. Andrew Doe, MD, founded Alate Health and is now assisted by Sandra Newberry, MD to bring women in Houston the most advanced diagnostic and interventional radiology treatment services available for complex disorders such as pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS). To find cutting-edge treatment in a state-of-the-art facility, call Alate Health or schedule an appointment online today.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Q & A
What is pelvic congestion syndrome?
Pelvic congestion syndrome, or PCS, is a chronic pelvic pain condition that develops when you have varicose veins in your pelvis. Similar to varicose veins in your legs, pelvic varicose veins form when their one-way valve doesn’t function properly. When this occurs, your vein can dilate and allow turbulent blood flow, leading to inflammation and nerve pain.
One of the most common signs of PCS is chronic pelvic pain for more than six months.
What are the symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome?
In addition to chronic pain, pelvic congestion syndrome can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Dull, aching pain in your lower back and abdomen
- Pain that worsens during menstruation and pregnancy or after intercourse and long periods of standing
- Varicose veins in your thighs, buttocks, or vulva
- Vaginal discharge
- Abnormal menstrual bleeding
Pelvic congestion syndrome can also cause an irritable bladder.
Who is at risk of developing pelvic congestion syndrome?
While the exact cause of PCS isn’t known, several factors can increase your chances of developing the condition, including having:
- Hormonal increases or dysfunction
- Multiple pregnancies
- A retroverted uterus
- Polycystic ovaries
Having a family or personal history of varicose veins in your legs can also increase your risk of developing pelvic congestion syndrome.
How is pelvic congestion syndrome diagnosed and treated?
Dr. Doe and the Alate Health team confirm PCS through venogram diagnostic testing. During this test, your provider injects dye into your vein and uses X-ray imaging to look for backward flow in your pelvic veins. If they detect PCS, they can treat it immediately with embolization therapy.
Embolization stops your blood from flowing backward in your pelvic veins. The Alate Health team performs this minimally invasive procedure in a state-of-the-art procedure suite by inserting small catheters into the problem veins and treating them with embolic material or coils.
After a short recovery in a private room, you can go home the same day. In most cases, you can return to regular activity within three to five days, but pain after immobilization therapy varies from woman to woman.
Embolization therapy for PCS offers several advantages, including:
- A 98-100% success rate
- Improved symptoms in 70-85% of women
- Quick recovery, within two to four weeks of treatment
Having embolization therapy is also safer and less invasive than surgery.
To learn more about pelvic congestion syndrome, call Alate Health or schedule an appointment online today.