Pelvic Congestion Syndrome- another cause of chronic pelvic pain

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When talking about endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain, it is important to remember that often endometriosis is not the only pelvic pain generator. Another possible contributor to chronic pelvic pain is pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS). “Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) accounts for up to 30% of patients presenting with chronic pelvic pain” (Reardon & Dillavou, 2021). There isn’t a significant amount of data about endometriosis and PCS, but one study found “the prevalence of ovarian varices in patients with endometriosis was 80%, whereas the control group was only 26.1%” (Pacheco & de Oliveira, 2016).

PCS is like having varicose veins in the pelvis. Blood pulls in the veins and can cause symptoms such as heaviness, pain with penetration, noncyclical pain, positional lower back pain, pelvic and upper thigh pain, prolonged postcoital discomfort, symptoms that worsen throughout the day and are exacerbated by activity or prolonged standing, and non-specific lower abdominal and pelvic pain (Durham & Machan, 2013; Mistry & le Roux, 2017). The cause of PCS is not clear, but it is associated with obstructions such as iliac vein compression (i.e., MTS) or left renal vein compression (i.e., Nutcracker syndrome) (Reardon & Dillavou, 2021).

For more information see:


Durham, J. D., & Machan, L. (2013, December). Pelvic congestion syndrome. In Seminars in interventional radiology (Vol. 30, No. 04, pp. 372-380). Thieme Medical Publishers. Retrieved from

LIANG, D. E., & Brown, B. (2021). Pelvic congestion syndrome: Are we missing the diagnosis?. The Medical Republic. Retrieved from

Mistry, P. P., & le Roux, D. A. (2017). Pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS). Practice Perspectives for Venous Disorders, 46. Retrieved from

Pacheco, K. G., & de Oliveira, M. R. F. (2016). The prevalence of ovarian varices in patients with endometriosis. Annals of Vascular Surgery34, 135-143.

Reardon, E. S., & Dillavou, E. D. (2021). Venous disease—What we still do not know. In Vascular Disease in Women (pp. 157-163). Academic Press.