Posted on March 9, 2022 by Texas Vein & Wellness Institute
When most patients hear the term “varicose veins” they associate them with the upper and lower parts of the legs. Caused by swollen blood vessels that can’t act efficiently, varicose veins can occur in other parts of the body as well including the abdomen, pelvic region, buttocks, and around the genitals. When they are prevalent in these other regions, they are typically diagnosed as “pelvic varicose veins.” Let’s delve a little deeper into this vein condition.
One of the most troubling thing for patients with pelvic varicose veins is that they tend to be asymptomatic. This means that a patient can have them for years without a diagnosis. In fact, pelvic varicose veins can be completely invisible— especially when a patient is lying down— making them even harder to detect. When patients do experience symptoms, however, most of them experience a painful sensation in the specific region. Female patients, in particular, tend to experience mood swings, abdominal bloating, fatigue, vaginal discharge, ovarian changes, severe menstrual pain, back pain, and thicker endometrium.
Women are more prone to getting pelvic varicose veins than men, but men are still susceptible. People who are at a higher risk of getting them include those who have had multiple pregnancies, who are obese, have a family history of varicose veins, experience Pelvic Congestion Syndrome or who live a sedentary lifestyle.
Your doctor will do a thorough exam and may do testing such as a Doppler ultrasound to see the varicose veins in the pelvic region. The exam and testing will also rule out other causes behind the pain before diagnosing you with pelvic varicose veins. A CT venogram using contrast dye is another test that can show affected veins on an X-ray.
If you are diagnosed with pelvic varicose veins, they will typically be treated with a procedure called embolism. Luckily, an embolism is a minimally invasive procedure. This means that you won’t have to worry about an extensive recovery or downtime. A metal coil will be inserted into the femoral vein or the ovarian vein to cause a clot to form and block blood flow, or a sclerosant solution will be used to irritate the diseased vein.