The National Institute of Health says a variety of diseases and gynaecological problems can be at the root of chronic female pelvic pain, including a condition called pelvic congestion syndrome. PCS may be the result of an enlarged, varicose-type vein that surround the uterus and ovaries. Several symptoms are associated with this condition.
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Who is at Risk?
Pelvic congestion syndrome is a mysterious clinical condition. The NIH says premenopausal women are most often affected by this malady which can be debilitating and difficult to diagnose. The symptoms of PCS may negatively influence a woman's intimate relationships as well as her social life in general.
Persistent Abdominal Pain
Chronic, lower abdominal pain is a common complaint of women who suffer from pelvic congestion. The discomfort may be sporadic or unremitting. The pain often intensifies during menstruation or after a long day of hard work.
Other Disruptive & Uncomfortable Symptoms
Women who suffer from pelvic congestion may experience pain during intercourse (dyspareunia). They can also be inflicted with frequent constipation or often feel an urgent need to urinate.
You may be more apt to suffer from chronic pelvic pain if you are depressed or highly stressed. The Mayo Clinic points out that since emotional pain worsens physical pain and vice versa, a vicious cycle can develop as a result of pelvic congestion.
Since several diseases and gynaecologic problems can cause chronic pelvic pain a woman with symptoms of pelvic congestion should undergo an extensive examination.
Your doctor can pinpoint signs of infection, strained nerve muscles or abnormal growths. He or she will look for tender areas and any changes in sensation.
In addition, samples (cultures) can be taken from your vagina or cervix to test for possible infection, including sexually transmitted diseases.
A thin tube that's connected to a tiny camera (laparoscope) is sometimes used to rule out endometriosis and chronic pelvic inflammatory disease.
Your doctor also may use ultrasound, X-rays or computerised tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to test for any abnormalities in the pelvic region.
The NIH says standard treatment for pelvic congestion syndrome generally includes analgesics and hormone therapy. In some cases a hysterectomy or a minimally invasive procedure called ovarian vein ligation is considered.
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