What is Chronic Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?
If you experience pain in the lower part of your abdomen, particularly the pelvic area (the area between your hips and belly button), then you might be suffering from chronic pelvic pain syndrome as a result of varicose veins. Many people experience pelvic pain at times. But when you experience this pain consistently for six months or more, it is considered chronic. This condition can occur in men; however, it is more prevalent in women. This article will focus on this condition in women.
Chronic pelvic pain can be a condition on its own, or it could a be a symptom of some other diseases. Finding the particular cause of the pain can be problematic, but this does not mean that the pain you are feeling in your pelvic area isn’t real. Treatments for pelvic varicose veins, also known as pelvic congestion syndrome, are available and our doctors at Red Sands Vein and Laser can help repair the situation or provide pain management to improve the quality of your life.
What Are the Causes?
Varicose veins are not the only cause of chronic pelvic pain syndrome. In addition to that, there are a number of factors to consider. Here is a list of possible causes of pelvic pain:
- Tension in the pelvic floor muscles. When there is pressure, or spasms on the pelvic floor muscles, you may experience recurring pain.
- Psychological factors such as sexual or physical abuse, chronic stress, and depression may result in emotional distress which can make pelvic pain chronic. Living with this pain for a long time may also increase emotional distress, which perpetuates the situation.
- The presence of scar tissues in the pelvic area resulting from an infection after surgery.
- Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease. This occurs when a long-term infection has been left untreated, such as a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It may result in scarring of the pelvic organs which results in severe pelvic pain.
- Endometriosis: this is a condition related to the female reproductive system, whereby uterine tissue also grows on the outside part of the uterus, hence causing you to experience pain in your pelvic area.
- Uterine fibroids: These are growths in or on your uterus. These growths will often disappear without intervention but they can also cause a lot of pain in some women.
- Pelvic congestion syndrome: this is when the veins in the ovary or pelvic area dilate, to resemble varicose veins found on the legs and they often result in severe pain for a person.
- Urinary tract and bowel related diseases such as chronic bladder irritation and Irritable bowel syndrome.
- An ovarian cyst, this is when a fluid-filled sac develops on an ovary. When this sac becomes twisted or bursts it may cause pelvic pain.
The above are just some of the causes of chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Bear in mind that not all the causes of this condition are known.
What Are the Symptoms?
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome has a variety of characteristics and symptoms, such as:
- Intermittent pain which comes and goes
- Severe and steady pain
- Cramping and sharp pains in the pelvic area
- Feeling of Pressure within your pelvis
- Pain during intercourse
- Feeling pain after sitting for long periods
- Feeling pain during a bowel movement or when urinating.
How is Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome Diagnosed?
You are the best judge of when it is time to see a doctor for your pelvic pain. It is proactive to make an appointment when you first experience symptoms, but some people are more conservative and may want to wait to see how things develop. However, please do not hesitate to see a doctor when you realize that your symptoms are getting worse, and when the pain in your pelvic area is so severe that it disrupts your regular life routine.
To diagnose the cause of your pelvic pain, a doctor may conduct a series of examinations to eliminate “suspects”, as there could be a lot of different disorders causing the pain. The doctor may also want to know your family and health history. Below are some of the possible exams and tests that might be conducted:
A pelvic exam must be carried out to reveal the presence of any abnormal growths, infections, and tense pelvic floor muscles. The doctor will ask you where you are experiencing the pain during the examination.
Lab analysis of your Cultures. Samples from your vagina or cervix will be collected to check for infections.
Ultrasound and other imaging tests such as computerized tomography (CT) scans, abdominal X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These tests can help detect abnormal growths and structures within your pelvic area.
Laparoscopy. Using a thin tube with a small camera attached to it (laparoscope), your doctor will examine your pelvic organs to check for any signs of infections or abnormal growths.
Since it is not exactly known what causes pelvic pain, finding the cause can take a little investigation. If you have this condition, you can help your doctor by giving them as much detailed information as possible about the pain you are experiencing. This includes: what times do the pains come, how long do they last, is there any event that seems to trigger them.
How is Pelvic Pain Treated?
If your doctor identifies the cause of your pelvic pain, he/she would treat the cause of the problem. Here are some of the standard treatments for chronic pelvic pain syndrome:
- Surgery may be needed to remove a cyst, abnormal growths or tumors that could be causing the pain.
- Antibiotics may be used to treat infections and medicines may be given for other conditions causing the pelvic pain.
- Hormone treatment or birth control pills may be used to treat pain related to your periods.
- Antidepressant medications can help relieve the pelvic pain associated with stress and depression.
If your chronic pelvic pain is related to pelvic congestion syndrome, the doctor may recommend:
- Asprin, Ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help manage the pain.
- Endovenous Thermal Ablation to remove the vein.
- Sclerotherapy to remove the vein.
Chronic pelvic pain syndrome can disrupt your normal life; it might make walking, exercising and even sleeping a challenge. If you have been having chronic pelvic pain for at least six months, you should consult a doctor. A doctor will try to determine the underlying cause of the problem, and if found, he or she will give you a suitable treatment. If the physician cannot ascertain the cause of the pain, he or she will work with you to manage it using pain relievers and a series of behavioral therapies.