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Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

Welcome to the pelvic congestion website. In this website we explain this condition, the signs and symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome, as well as the tests and treatment of the condition.

What is pelvic congestion syndrome?

Pelvic congestion syndrome is a condition caused by too much blood in the female pelvis - it can be thought of as 'varicose veins inside the pelvis'.

Why is it called pelvic congestion syndrome?

As with many things in medicine, the name is really just a description of the problem:

  • 'pelvic' - means that it relates to a condition of the pelvis
  • 'congestion' - meaning too much blood in the veins
  • 'syndrome' - means a collection of different symptoms and signs.

Who gets pelvic congestion syndrome?

Pelvic congestion syndrome is a condition that affects a great many women. It rarely seems to cause any problems before puberty although as we understand more about it, the underlying cause may well be present in children.

After puberty, many females start getting the symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome, although very few see any outward signs until after pregnancy (see below).

What are the signs and symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome?

Symptoms of pelvic congestion syndrome may include any of the following:

  • Aching or 'dragging' in the pelvis, particularly on standing and worse around the time of the period
  • Irritable bladder sometimes giving stress incontinence
  • Irritable bowel
  • Deep dyspareunia (discomfort on sexual intercourse)

Although there are very rarely any outward signs of pelvic congestion syndrome, occasionally the following can be seen, particularly after pregnancy:

  • Vaginal or vulvar varicose veins (bulging veins around the front passage)
  • Varicose veins of the top of the inner thigh or the backs of the thighs



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