Medical Definition of Pelvic congestion syndrome

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018
Pelvic congestion syndrome: A condition in which there is congestion of blood in dilated veins of the pelvis. The ovarian vein and internal iliac veins are commonly affected, and the congestion may lead to chronic pelvic pain in women. The pain is usually dull, varies in severity, and is not related to the menstrual cycle. It is most common in premenopausal women.

The cause of the dilated veins (varicose veins) is poorly understood. Pelvic congestion syndrome is thought to arise as a combination of both mechanical stresses and hormonal changes, including pregnancy related changes. Ultrasound and other imaging tests may be used to establish the diagnosis of pelvic congestion syndrome.


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Reviewed on 12/21/2018
Medically reviewed by Martin Zipser, MD; Board Certified: Surgery

REFERENCE: U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Pelvic congestion syndrome: chronic pelvic pain caused by ovarian and internal iliac varices.