Treatment Options for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

Feb 17, 2023
Treatment Options for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
If you’re bothered by pelvic congestion syndrome pain, a range of treatments can help. Learn how to get the relief you need, with or without surgery.

If you’ve been diagnosed with pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS), you know how painful the chronic condition can be. Commonly underdiagnosed, PCS affects an estimated 15% of people with a uterus in the United States. In other words, being properly diagnosed is a great thing – given that it makes way for effective treatment.

At his Midtown Manhattan practice, double board-certified radiologist Dr. Yosef Golowa specializes in minimally invasive treatments for pelvic congestion syndrome, so you can get the care and relief you need without traditional surgery.

Take a few minutes to learn more about this condition, including available treatments.

Pelvic congestion syndrome basics

Pelvic congestion syndrome causes blood flow problems in your pelvic veins. Veins in your ovaries or other parts of your pelvis widen, potentially becoming twisted or overfilled with blood, causing pain. You may also develop sudden urges to urinate and have large, distorted veins on your buttocks, thighs, or vulva.

As a chronic condition, pelvic congestion syndrome pain lasts for longer than 6 months. While you still might still experience things like menstrual cramps when you have it, PCS symptoms aren’t associated with periods or a current pregnancy.

Factors that increase your risk include:

  • Being age 20-45 or premenopausal
  • Having given birth more than once
  • Having varicose veins
  • Family history of varicose veins
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

Of the roughly 40% of gynecological visits related to ongoing pelvic pain, an estimated 30% involve pelvic congestion syndrome.

Pelvic congestion syndrome treatments

A range of treatments can help reduce vein problems from PCS while minimizing your painful symptoms. Your treatment plan specifics depend on your symptoms and overall health. 

Available pelvic congestion syndrome treatments include:

  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone drugs
  • Progestin hormone drugs
  • Procedures to shut off damaged veins, such as embolization or sclerotherapy 
  • Surgery to remove your damaged veins
  • Surgery to remove your ovaries or uterus

For nonsurgical gonadal vein embolization, Dr. Golowa reduces pressure from your abnormal veins using a catheter that he inserts through a tiny incision. Guided with X-ray technology, he moves the catheter to the problematic vein and delivers a coil or foam sclerosant, which blocks the vein. From there, blood is redirected to other veins for improved flow. 

This procedure, which may take as little as 60 minutes, is safer and less invasive than a hysterectomy. It also requires significantly less recovery time. 

To learn more about PCS treatments or to get the care you need, call our office or book an appointment through our website today.