Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) is a chronic condition that causes pain in the pelvic region. PCS shares some similar symptoms with ovarian cancer. Medical professionals may look to rule out ovarian cancer when diagnosing PCS.
This article discusses what PCS is, outlines its symptoms, and lists the symptoms it shares with ovarian cancer.
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Medical professionals believe that issues with the veins in the pelvic region are the main cause of PCS. These veins include the iliac vein and the ovarian vein.
A person with PCS may have varicose iliac or ovarian veins. This means that they are congested or dilated.
Issues with the veins in the pelvic region may be due to:
- insufficient valves in the veins
- obstruction of the veins
There is no direct link between PCS and ovarian cancer.
However, the two conditions can share some similar symptoms. This makes it important for a doctor to rule out ovarian cancer when diagnosing a person with PCS.
The symptoms that PCS and ovarian cancer share include:
- abdominal pain
- discomfort or pressure in the abdomen
- frequent urination
- dyspareunia, which is discomfort or pain during sexual intercourse
How does PCS affect the ovaries?
If the ovarian vein becomes dilated, its valves may not close properly. This can cause blood to flow backwards down the vein, which may cause pooling of blood within the pelvis.
The pain can last for 3–6 months and can affect one or both sides of the pelvis. The pain can also move from side to side.
Other symptoms of PCS include:
- pain that worsens during a person’s menstrual period
- pain after sexual intercourse
- increased urination
A number of things can increase the intensity of the pain, including:
- walking and lifting
- standing for long periods of time
- postural changes
- menstrual periods
- sexual intercourse
The time of day can also affect the intensity of PCS pain, with pain being worse at the end of the day.
If a person does not receive treatment for PCS, the pain may worsen over time.
If a person’s PCS pain is causing them regular discomfort and impacts their daily life, then they may wish to contact a doctor.
The first line of treatment for PCS is medical management of the pain.
Common medications that can help a person manage their PCS pain
- gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists
- combined oral contraceptives
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
If pain relief is not effective, a person may undergo vein ligation. This procedure involves making a small incision in the skin before tying off the incompetent veins. This prevents blood from flowing through these veins.
Vein ligation often takes place before stripping, which is the process of removing the vein from the body.
Vein ligation is an effective treatment for PCS, with
Pelvic vein embolization is another effective treatment for PCS. This is a minimally invasive procedure in which a surgeon blocks off certain varicose veins that they believe are causing the person pain.
If a person experiences pain, a dull ache, or heaviness in their pelvis, then they should contact a doctor. A doctor will be able to help diagnose PCS or determine another cause for the pain.
If a person does have PCS then the doctor can assess their symptoms and determine an effective treatment for the condition.
Studies show that after treatment more than
PCS is a chronic condition that causes pain in the pelvic region.
Medical professionals believe that issues with the veins in the pelvic region are the main cause of PCS.
Common symptoms of PCS include pain that worsens during a person’s menstrual period, dyspareunia, pain after sexual intercourse, increased urination, and constipation.
These symptoms are similar to some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer. This means a medical professional will want to rule out ovarian cancer when diagnosing PCS.
The first line of treatment for PCS is pain relief. A doctor may use a variety of different medications to treat PCS pain.
If these medications do not work, a doctor may decide to use vein ligation or vein embolism in order to reduce PCS pain.