Constant pelvic pain in women is often associated with circulatory disorders at this level. A latent expansion of the pelvic veins is not uncommon. What is it and how to deal with it - we will consider in this material!
Medical statistics show that more than half of middle-aged women suffer from recurrent lower abdominal pain. Around half of these cases are associated with circulatory disorders. This manifests itself in congestion of blood and subsequent effusion of intercellular fluid into the pelvic cavity. Congestion leads to compression of the soft tissues of the organs. This provokes the development of a pain syndrome. The cause of this pathological process is varicose veins of the pelvis.
It usually begins to develop during pregnancy and then progresses slowly throughout the woman's life. At present there are no reliable data on the causes of this phenomenon and methods of effective treatment.
In a normally functioning vein, blood only flows in one direction. Backflow is prevented by the valve system. As the valves lose their integrity and elasticity, a gradual backflow of venous blood develops. With a prolonged pathological process, this leads to constant stagnation of the blood. As a result, the vessel wall expands and the venous cavity expands. It loses its bandwidth and the ability to compress when needed.
In the initial stage, pain in this disease occurs due to a violation of the nerve endings that innervate the vascular walls of the venous bed.
At present, science does not know the exact cause of this disease. Possible risk factors include the following.
- Pregnancy Physiology. During pregnancy, there is a significant increase in the volume of circulating blood. This leads to weight gain for the pregnant woman. It is believed that excessive blood volume combined with excessive body weight contributes to the enlargement of the venous bed. In the future, this will lead to congestion and damage to the venous valves.
- The effects of estrogens. Large amounts of estrogen hormones are constantly thrown into a woman's body during pregnancy. They are necessary for the maintenance and growth of the fetus. Estrogens reduce the risk of miscarriage by relaxing the muscles in the uterus. However, on the other hand, these substances have a negative effect on the contractility of blood vessels.
- Individual anatomical diseases. Some patients show individual anatomical features in relation to the veins of the pelvis. Their position is fundamentally unfavorable for the beginning of a pregnancy. Therefore, in most cases, the beginning of fertilization leads to the development of venous insufficiency.
Is there a link between this condition and lower extremity varicose veins?
Varicose veins in the pelvis are very similar to the condition of varicose veins in the legs. In both cases, the venous valves that help blood flow to the heart are affected. The function of the valves to prevent blood backflow is impaired. When the valves collapse, the blood in the veins stagnates. Swollen veins expand, making the congestion worse. Pelvic venous overload syndrome mainly develops near the uterus, fallopian tubes, vulva, and even vagina. The condition is usually associated with weight gain, which is inevitable during pregnancy.
Varicose veins are usually seen in women:
- at the age of 20-45 years;
- in multiple pregnancies.
What are the signs and symptoms?
The most common complaint from an injured woman is pain of varying degrees. Pain syndrome is inherently constant and not cyclical in nature. Increased pain occurs:
- before the onset of menstruation;
- at the end of a hard day's work;
- after getting up for a long time;
- during or immediately after intercourse;
- in the later stages of pregnancy.
All of these symptoms are reason enough to see a phlebologist. This condition can be associated with a periodic increase in total body weight of 2-5 kg. This weight is mainly created by the leakage of fluid into the abdominal cavity of the small pelvis.
There are many other non-specific symptoms that come with varying degrees of intensity. In general, symptoms are more likely to appear at the end of the day or after standing for a long time, or even after intercourse. In some cases, the pain can be severe and affect personal and social relationships.
Signs can also be:
- Swelling of the vulva and vagina;
- Varicose veins of the external genital organs, buttocks, legs;
- abnormal menstrual bleeding;
- pain when touching the lower abdomen;
- Painful intercourse;
- painful periods;
- Back pain;
- vaginal discharge;
- general weakness and apathy;
- Depression and depression.
In most cases, the presence of pelvic congestion syndrome is not obvious and the diagnosis can only be made after other diseases have been ruled out. Similar disorders that can have the same symptoms include:
- Uterine fibroids;
- Prolapse of the uterus (the uterus sinks deeper into the pelvis due to weak pelvic floor muscles).
Diagnostics and laboratory research
Laboratory tests are important for a complete diagnosis of the presence of stagnation. A woman is usually assigned a standard exam package.
Ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs. It helps to assess the condition of the uterus and other organs of the pelvis. It can also help visualize blood flow and the presence of varicose veins in the pelvis. The procedure is painless and takes about 30 minutes. Generally cheap and effective.
Phlebogram. This test was widely used in the past to diagnose blood congestion in the pelvic cavity, but now it is being replaced by computed tomography when possible. The test involves injecting a special dye into a vein in your groin and then examining it with X-rays. The procedure takes about 30-45 minutes and is carried out on an outpatient basis. The examination is painless, but there is a risk of an allergic reaction to the contrast agent. The possibility of radiation exposure of the pelvic organs is also not excluded.
Computed tomography is widely used in diagnosing pelvic varicose veins. This method allows you to visually examine the anatomy of the pelvis and identify varicose veins of the pelvis. This is due to radiation exposure and is not recommended as a test in pregnant women.
Magnetic resonance imaging is a very useful test in diagnosing pelvic congestion syndrome. It does not use radiation or contrast media. This is a painless test. The images are of excellent quality. It is the preferred method of choice for diagnosing most cases. The test takes about 15 minutes and is carried out on an outpatient basis.