Search Our Website

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) is thought to be the culprit for chronic pelvic pain experienced by as many as one-third of all women. It’s common for women to be dismissed when it comes to chronic pelvic pain, but it’s now thought that hidden varicose veins in the pelvis may be the cause. Called pelvic congestion syndrome, this phenomenon is analogous to varicoceles in men where pelvic veins become unhealthy and collect blood, causing discomfort.

When these veins bulge because of pooling blood, it can impact the health of the nearby pelvic areas – most notably the uterus, ovaries, and vulva. It’s thought that pelvic congestion syndrome may affect many women, but only a few experience symptoms, and even fewer receive appropriate treatment.

Symptoms and Risk Factors

The most indicative symptom of PCS is pain, whether it’s dull and aching or sharp and intense. This pain is typically chronic, meaning it lasts for longer than six months and is not associated with your period or pregnancy. This pain may come and go, but generally feels worse before or during your period, after sitting or standing for long periods, at the end of the day, or during or after intercourse. It may also be associated with symptoms such as varicose veins, bowel problems, stress urinary incontinence, or pain during urination.

PCS most often affects women of childbearing age who have already given birth more than once. Other risk factors may include varicose veins and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It’s thought that PCS may be associated with pregnancy and the blood vessel changes that can occur. Because the blood vessels expand to accommodate extra blood flow for the baby, it may weaken their function. It’s also thought that estrogen may play a role in PCS because it’s rare in women who have undergone menopause.

“Dr. Julien and his people are the most cohesive, personable and professional I’ve ever come across. From the time I walk in to when I leave I feel like they care about me. The result is good healing.”

– James R.

“Dr. Julien and his people are the most cohesive, personable and professional I’ve ever come across. From the time I walk in to when I leave I feel like they care about me. The result is good healing.”

– Josh R.

“Staff is awesome! Extremely knowledgeable & professional. They explained every step to me and spent plenty of time to answer my questions.”

– Anthony P.

“I was referred to Dr. W. Julian by my PCP and very happy that I was. Dr. Julian found a clogged artery that could have been life threatening if left untreated. My experience from consult to discharge was met courtesy, warmth and professionalism which helped me through my procedure. Sean greeted me and my son who explained the whole process and what to expect. I was also looked after by Josh, Jackie and Reuben who could not have been more supportive or communicative through this adventure.”

– Lorette K.

“The whole staff were very professional and very helpful in navigating me through every procedure, treatments and follow ups. I would certainly recommend South Florida Vascular Associates.”

– Don S.

“I have been very impressed by the way this office functions. Each and every person I’ve encountered has been very personable and professional. I’ve had minimal wait times before being seen. The tests I’ve had were done efficiently and results explained to me quickly. I would highly recommend this office.”

– Robert G.

“All of the staff were friendly, courteous, and professional. Examination and consultation were thorough and expedited in a timely manner. I felt relaxed throughout the visit and all my medical questions and concerns were met and answered to my satisfaction. Would recommend this office to anyone seeking vascular care.”

– Felix G.

“I highly recommend this office for any vascular procedure you may need. The staff are awesome. They were very considerate and professional. My procedures were all a success and I am very happy with the end result. Top marks on everything.”

– Todd H.

Read More Testimonials

How is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Diagnosed?

Pelvic congestion syndrome is often not detected with a normal pelvic exam because it’s performed while lying down. This relieves pressure from the veins which would otherwise be felt standing up. Ultrasounds or CT scans are often the most effective way to locate affected veins, but venography may also be beneficial. This includes injecting a specialized dye into the veins that make them visible during an X-ray. Once our team has a complete picture of the area, you’ll discuss treatment options.

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Treatment Options

Embolization is often the most effective treatment available for PCS. It’s a minimally invasive procedure performed under sedation or local anesthesia. It involves a tiny incision through which a catheter can be threaded to the affected area. A sclerosing agent is then injected to close off the veins. The body will naturally reroute blood flow through healthy veins nearby. This also effectively treats secondary veins in the area which can sometimes cause recurrence with traditional surgery.

This groundbreaking procedure produces excellent results and requires very little downtime, making it one of the most attractive treatment options for our patients here at South Florida Vascular Associates.


William Julien, MD

Board-Certified Vascular Interventional Physician


Mana Khatkar, PA-C

Certified Physician Assistant


Anissa Rodriguez, NP-C

Certified Nurse Practitioner


Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about pelvic congestion syndrome and its treatment options, contact our offices today. We conveniently serve the greater Southeast Florida area including Coconut Creek, Boynton Beach, and Plantation, FL.