Let’s Talk About Pelvic Varicose Veins

Let’s Talk About Pelvic Varicose Veins

Let’s Talk About Pelvic Varicose Veins

When people talk about varicose veins, it seems like they’re usually focused on the legs. However, varicose veins can also develop in the pelvic region, in the lower abdominal area, around the genitals, thighs, and buttocks as well.

What Are The Symptoms of Pelvic Varicose Veins?

The most common symptom that those with pelvic varicose veins experience are pain in the area. However, there are patients with pelvic varicose veins or pelvic congestion syndrome that don’t feel symptoms at all (asymptomatic). In general, women are more likely to suffer from pelvic varicose veins but men can also have them as well. You may not be able to see the varicose veins, especially when lying down.

What Causes Pelvic Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins form when the vein walls weaken (venous insufficiency) and valves within the veins deteriorate and let the blood flow backward (venous reflux). This is the same process that happens with pelvic varicose veins, just in that region of the body.

Elevated risk factors for pelvic varicose veins include:

  • Family history of the disorder
  • Repeated pregnancies
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Pelvic Congestion Syndrome


Another risk factor is being a woman. Research shows that as many as one-third of women suffer pelvic pain in their lifetime. If Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is the cause, patients usually experience it as dull and aching but it can also present as acute. This pain usually gets worse at the end of the day and standing makes it worse. Your menstrual cycle and sexual intercourse may also make it worse.

Women with Pelvic Congestion Syndrome may also experience one or more of these symptoms:

  • Enlarged uterus
  • Thicker endometrium
  • Ovarian changes
  • Stress incontinence
  • Back pain
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Severe menstrual pain or dysmenorrhea
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue


How Are Pelvic Varicose Veins Diagnosed?

To treat vein issues, you first need to have a diagnostic test. Because the pelvic area makes it difficult to see varicose veins, you may have to have a Doppler ultrasound. In most cases though, a CT venogram using contrast dye will be done. The contrast dye is used because it shows up better on an X-ray.