What Can I Do About Chronic Pelvic Pain?
Here’s something most people don’t realize about chronic pelvic pain: One-third of all women experience it for 6 months or more. So, if you’re struggling with persistent pelvic pain, you’re certainly not alone.
And good news: You have options for treatment. Let’s look at what you can do to get answers about your chronic pelvic pain and find some relief.
A Common Cause of Pain: Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
One of the most common causes of persistent pelvic pain is pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS). This is a condition that involves dilation of the ovarian and/or pelvic veins, or a blockage within the upper iliac vein.
In plain language, it means you have a compressed or bulging vein in your pelvic area. It’s like having a varicose vein in your pelvis instead of in your leg – and it can be extremely painful. To learn more about the details of the condition, read our page about the risk factors and symptoms of PCS.
Without treatment, pelvic congestion syndrome can become debilitating over time. You may experience so much pain and discomfort, you feel unable to move around and do daily activities. So let’s look at how to know whether you need to explore PCS treatment options.
Here’s How to Find Out if You Have PCS
First, see your gynecologist for a thorough examination that will rule out other causes beyond PCS. Next, schedule an appointment with a vascular specialist to discuss the results of your gynecological exam and do further testing.
You can also take our chronic pelvic pain quiz to see if you’re showing the signs of PCS.
If you’re concerned about invasive tests, let’s put your mind at ease. A vascular specialist can diagnose PCS through several minimally-invasive methods, such as an ultrasound, an intravascular ultrasound, an MRI, or a technique called pelvic venography that creates a map of your pelvic veins.
From there, your vascular specialist will present you with treatment options for your specific situation. They may recommend that you ask your gynecologist for a prescription for hormonal medications that can reduce blood flow and congestion within your pelvic veins.
Your vascular specialist may also recommend a minimally invasive outpatient option as a safe and effective way to treat PCS. An endovascular procedure that fixes a damaged vein can be performed on an outpatient basis in one of our Maryland Vascular Specialists Outpatient Centers. It’s fast and usually has little to no pain.
Most women with PCS find that this kind of endovascular therapy provides immense relief. In most cases, patients experience few or no side effects from the procedure and are able to get back to their regular routine quite quickly.
If I Think I Might Have PCS, What’s My Next Step?
At Maryland Vascular Specialists, we understand what it’s like to face chronic pelvic pain and we’re here to help. Contact a vascular specialist who understands your struggle and can assist you with a diagnosis. Click below to request a consultation.
We invite you to connect with the experts at Maryland Vascular Specialists for a caring discussion about your persistent pelvic pain and your treatment options.