Most women suffer from an unpleasant problem: varicose veins in their legs. In addition to being aesthetically annoying, they can cause pain and tiredness. However, did you know that there are many other places on the body that can also develop varicose veins that often go unnoticed by the naked eye? This is the case with pelvic varices, a problem that affects 10 to 15% of women and brings much more headache than the so-called normal varices. In this article, I brought you some information about pelvic varices and forms of treatment. Come on?
In today’s text we will cover the following topics:
- What are varicose veins?
- Risk groups
- Influence of pelvic varices on sexual intercourse
- Prevention tips against pelvic varices
- Look for a doctor
What are varicose veins?
In our body, the veins have the function of bringing the blood that is without oxygen back to our heart and lungs so that they can oxygenate and continue to nourish our body. If the veins are totally healthy, this is done without any problem, but we must take into account that age, genetics and poor diet can hinder this process.
Healthy veins have small valves that assist in their function of returning blood to the heart. Varicose veins are more dilated than usual veins, which accumulate more blood than desired. They usually have small damaged valves and therefore do not facilitate the circulation of blood to the heart. Having more blood and having very thin walls, these veins dilate and accumulate blood.
They usually appear on the legs, but they can also appear on other parts of the body. When these varicose veins are located in the pelvis, ovaries and uterus, pelvic congestion syndrome occurs . Pelvic varices are often accompanied by varicose veins on the lower extremities and on the external genitals.
Nobody is exempt from suffering from pelvic varices, however, women who have had one or more pregnancies are more likely to suffer from this problem. This is because during pregnancy, the pelvic veins tend to widen a lot in order to have a good connection with the fetus. If these veins do not return to normal size after delivery, the woman will develop pelvic varices.
Usually, pelvic varices appear in women between 30 and 50 years old who have had a pregnancy or more (the risk increases with the number of pregnancies) or who have a family history of varicose veins in their mothers, grandparents or aunts. They are often women who have hormonal problems and menstrual disorders with irregular rules throughout their lives.
The incidence of this syndrome is not well established, as it is difficult to diagnose. Often, women suffering from pelvic congestion syndrome have visited several doctors and even different specialties because they have unclear symptoms. These women usually have:
- Pains in the pelvic area and lower abdomen, with more intensity around 10-15 days before menstruation;
- Urinary incontinence (loss of urine);
- Pain during the menstrual period;
- Pain in sexual intercourse;
- Non-specific sensation that is described as weight in the lower abdomen;
- Heavy bleeding during the menstrual period;
- Hormonal and fertility disorders.
Influence of pelvic varices on sexual intercourse
Pelvic varicose veins can be a major problem for many women at the time of sexual intercourse, since one of the main consequences is pain when having sex. Some women who suffer from varicose veins try to avoid sexual intercourse whenever possible and this can lead to a deterioration in the relationship.
Often women learn to live with pain, believing that it is a symptom related to problems with menstruation or due to hormonal changes.
In these cases, in addition to taking the medications described by the doctor to relieve symptoms, it may be interesting to use lubricants, which will make relationships less painful. This type of product softens vaginal dryness , increases lubrication and makes sex more pleasurable.
After suspected pelvic congestion syndrome, different types of imaging tests can be performed for diagnosis:
- Eco-Doppler that can be abdominal or transvaginal – this technique identifies the veins in the lower abdomen and studies the flow through them. It is a test that does not take radiation and does not require prior preparation of the patient.
- Computed tomography angiography or an MRI to assess abdominal vascularization.
If the initial diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor must prescribe specific medications and pain relievers to lessen the pain. If the problem is not solved, the specialist may opt for surgery or an embolization technique.
- Surgery – the doctor makes a “knot” in the affected veins, causing the blood to circulate only in the veins that are healthy. This surgery requires hospitalization and is performed under general anesthesia.
- Embolization – placement of small springs within the dilated pelvic veins, to block the blood supply to the veins and thereby reduce symptoms. The intervention lasts about 1 to 3 hours, and hospitalization is generally not necessary. In addition, sclerotherapy with foam or other embolizers can be used to help occlude the affected veins.
In the days after catheterization, it is normal to experience some type of pain or fever. If this happens, you can use analgesics and antipyretics, which will improve the symptoms.
During treatment it is important to adopt some precautions such as wearing compression compression stockings and exercising regularly to promote compression of the veins and improve the return of venous blood to the heart.
Prevention tips against pelvic varices
- Walk daily for 45 minutes to improve blood circulation;
- Escape tight clothing, such as pants and shorts, which hinder blood circulation;
- Avoid standing and standing too long. In addition, 2 or 3 times a day you should rest with legs slightly raised to facilitate the return of blood.
- If you are pregnant, sleep on your side, as this will decrease the pressure of the uterus in the vena cava (which carries blood to the heart);
- Escape soaking baths, the shower is better. A good way to reactivate circulation while you are in the shower is to switch between cold and hot water;
- Control weight during pregnancy, as this follows medical guidelines and a diet rich in fiber;
- Do exercises.
Look for a doctor
If you experience any of the symptoms described, see a doctor you trust immediately. Despite not bringing serious health problems, pelvic varicose veins can cause discomfort and disrupt your daily life and your intimate life. This pathology has no cure, but with proper care and medical care, you can live normally.