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Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS)

Your pelvic pain could be a vein problem

If you have unexplained pain or discomfort in your lower abdomen, you could have pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS). More than 30 percent of women complain about pain in the lower abdomen sometime in their lifetime.

PCS is believed to be associated with varicose veins in the pelvis (lower abdomen and groin). The varicose veins develop during pregnancy and continue to progress in size. The syndrome is associated with constant dull pelvic pain, pressure and heaviness. No one really knows why the varicose veins develop or how to best treat PCS; in fact, for some women, no identifiable cause can be identified.

PCS is generally seen in women between the age 20 and age 45 or women who have had multiple pregnancies.

Pain of varying severity is the most common complaint. The pain is typically dull and not cyclical. The pain is usually worse:

  • Just before the onset of the menstrual cycle
  • At the end of the day
  • After prolonged standing
  • During or just after intercourse
  • During later stages of pregnancy

Talk to your Novant Health doctor if you suspect you may have PCS. There are a number of treatment options you can explore, both non-surgical and surgical.