Can You Get Pelvic Congestion Syndrome After Menopause?
Menopause is inevitable to all women, and during this stage, a lot of changes happen in the body including pain in various parts of the body like the pelvis. Chronic pelvic pain is usually reported by women after menopause but is this directly related to Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
Read on to find out more!
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Before learning the correlation between pelvic pain syndrome and menopause, it is important to learn about the condition first. In this section, we will talk about the symptoms, causes, and how to treat pelvic congestion syndrome.
Symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
The most common symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome are the following:
- Lower back pain
- Swelling on the vulva
- Pain on the pelvis that can worsen during intercourse, menstruation, or physical activity
- Pelvis pain that worsens during the day, especially due to prolonged standing
- Occurrence of varicose veins on the legs or genital area
- Vaginal discharge
- Vaginal bleeding
[Related: Can Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Cause Weight Gain?]
Causes of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Pelvic congestion syndrome usually occurs when some varicose veins grow around your ovaries, and these veins look like what usually develops in your legs. This happens when there is an increase in pressure on your pelvic region. It also happens when there are irregularities in your blood flow.
The cause of pelvic congestion syndrome is unknown. However, issues with blood flow in your pelvic veins and ovarian veins also contribute.
Normally, blood passes via the veins in your ovaries and moves upward from your pelvic veins toward your heart. Your veins include structures known as valves that stop blood from flowing backward.
The veins are so enlarged (dilated) with PCS that the valves are unable to stop reflux. Veins that have blood flowing backward through them twist and become overloaded with blood.
How is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Diagnosed?
Medical history and frequency of symptoms are important factors to consider before diagnosing pelvic congestion syndrome. After your healthcare provider has obtained all pertinent information from these, the doctor will proceed to a physical exam. Your ovaries, uterus, and cervix will be examined to check for any tenderness and pain.
Other medical procedures involving imaging can also be recommended by your doctor. This will help rule out any other existing conditions that may cause pain related to pelvic congestion syndrome. These imaging procedures can include the following:
- MRI or CT Scan: These imaging procedures can help see your veins in a more detailed way than a CT scan. Through these scans, your doctor can see any twisting or dilation in the veins and ovaries near the pelvis. They may also reveal abnormal growths in your pelvis that point to endometriosis or other potential sources of persistent pain.
- Ultrasound: Vein enlargement can be seen on an ultrasound. It can assist your doctor in identifying additional anomalies that might be the source of your pain. Your blood flow can be detected using the ultrasound’s Doppler capability.
- Pelvic venography: As of the moment, pelvic venography is the gold standard in pelvic congestion syndrome imaging. This procedure can also be used prior to a medical procedure done to operate on your veins.
Your doctor places a tiny tube called a catheter into a vein in your neck or groin to do pelvic venography. The catheter is positioned such that it enters the ovarian veins on both the right and left sides of your body using an X-ray as guidance. Your enlarged pelvic veins can be more noticeable on the X-ray by a harmless dye injection into the vein. Venography identifies twisted and dilated veins as well as the direction and location of blood pooling.
It may be quite difficult to diagnose pelvic congestion syndrome because there are some individuals who have stressed veins that go on with their normal lives without any pelvic pain.
It is also possible that both persons with and without chronic pelvic pain may have deformed blood arteries and blood backflow.
If imaging reveals that your veins are dilated, therapy is not necessary unless you are in constant agony. Pelvic congestion is typically diagnosed as the source of pelvic pain after all other possibilities have been ruled out.
Treatment of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
The most common treatment of PCS involves ovarian vein embolization. In this procedure, your doctor operates to prevent blood from pooling by blocking the blood arteries and forcing the blood to flow backward.
They start by inserting a catheter into the problematic pelvic and ovarian veins. The veins are then irritated or inflamed using chemicals that are then sent through the catheter. To stop reflux, tiny metal coils, adhesives, or foam are also put into these veins.
[Related: Treatment Options for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome]
What causes pelvic pain after menopause?
The main reason why pelvic pain happens to many women after menopause is due to age-related issues. As estrogen levels fall after menopause, several tissues, including bone, muscles that support the bladder, and tissues around the vagina and urethra, become weaker. Bladder infections and pelvic fractures thus increase in frequency.
Additionally, this weakening can be a factor in pelvic organ prolapse, which means that organs near the pelvis might fall out of their places. This condition results in complaints in older women.
Can you get pelvic congestion syndrome after menopause?
According to a study, 30% of pelvic congestion syndrome is frequently misdiagnosed because this syndrome is relatively new. But to answer the question, yes. Pelvic congestion syndrome can happen to women after menopause although it is relatively rare. This usually occurs if a woman has very enlarged veins.
Get Professional Help to Treat Any Vein-Related Issues Today!
Regardless if you are currently diagnosed with Pelvic Congestion Syndrome or any other vein-related condition, we are here to help. VISP’s team of hardworking professionals can help you with issues with your veins, nerves, back pain, arterial blockages, and more.
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