What Is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

A pattern of pelvic pain in women due to varicose veins inside the pelvis.

There are several reasons the varicose veins may form: 

  • Ovarian vein reflux or reverse flow when one way valves no longer function and blood flows backwards into the pelvis.
  • Blockage of the leg veins (May-Thurner Syndrome) can result in pelvic problems with or without leg problems.  This happens because the veins of the bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum all join together and then join into the leg veins
  • The left kidney vein is blocked This is because the left ovarian vein drains into the left kidney vein. The blood flow is diverted into other veins, most commonly the ovarian vein. This damages the ovarian vein valves and makes varicose veins in the pelvis. This kidney vein blockage can also cause left flank pain  or blood or protein in the urine( Nutcracker Syndrome).


Symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS):

  • Usually described as heaviness, fullness, or bloating with aching or throbbing.
  • Usually relieved with lying down, and can be worse with standing and sitting.
  • It is worse during menstrual times but also occurs outside of that time.
  • Intercourse can be painful. Aching and pain after intercourse or upon standing after intercourse are also clues to this condition.
  • The urge to urinate can be a symptom of PCS. Often patients may be seen by the Urologist and told there is interstitial cystitis. Cystoscopy is usually negative.
  • Rectal fullness or the urge to have a bowel movement. GI doctors are frequently consulted and may diagnose the problem as diverticulosis or irritable bowel syndrome. Colonoscopy is often negative.
  • Sometimes hemorrhoids (which are varicose veins of the rectum) are present. Having a Hemorrhoidectomy doesn’t help the pelvic pain.
  • Gynecologists may have labeled the symptoms as due to endometriosis or adhesions.

Learn more about symptoms, diagnosis and treatment(s) for Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS).

If you have questions about this venous disorder and/or may be experiencing some of the symptoms – contact our office to schedule an appointment for a vein evaluation.


“All We Do Is Veins, All Day Every Day.”


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