Impact of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome on Quality of Life

What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome? At some point or another, women may have to deal with pain in the pelvic area. Some women may have monthly cra

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What is Pelvic Congestion Syndrome?

At some point or another, women may have to deal with pain in the pelvic area. Some women may have monthly cramps that are short-lived and easy to deal with. For some people, pain can last for a long time and be very bad. This could be a sign of a condition called chronic pelvic pain, which is also known as pelvic congestion syndrome. 

Chronic pelvic discomfort is linked to utero-ovarian plexus varicose veins and pelvic varices. Pelvic congestion syndrome symptoms include pelvic pain, perineal heaviness, the urgency of micturition, and postcoital pain, which are caused by ovarian and/or pelvic vein reflux and/or obstruction and may be related to vulvar, perineal, and/or lower extremity varices.

Symptoms of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

Women who have chronic pelvic pain feel pain below their belly button and between their hip bones for at least six months. Pain can be different. Some people have a sharp, stabbing pain that comes and goes and sometimes feels like menstrual cramps. For some, it’s steady and dull, like a mild stomach ache.

When you have pelvic pain, it can be hard to live the life you want because it can make it hard to work, exercise, or have sex.

Chronic pelvic pain can be a sign of a gynaecological problem like endometriosis or adenomyosis. The tissue lining the uterus grows outside in endometriosis. It can also happen if you have a problem with your bladder, intestines, the muscles on the floor of your pelvis, or even your spine. Often, there is more than one source of pain that can be found at the same time. Pain in the pelvis that lasts for a long time is sometimes hard to figure out.

It can be frustrating to not know what’s causing your pain, but a vascular surgeon can identify it and help figure out how to treat it. Your doctor can help relieve your symptoms in a number of ways, from giving you medicine to doing surgery, so you can get back to your normal life.

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome Vs Quality of Life

Pelvic congestion syndrome is typically diagnosed in women under 45 who are reproductively active (i.e., have 1–2 children), but no evidence-based studies or quality-of-life instruments have been developed. Pelvic congestion syndrome patients’ quality of life depends on pain, physical activity, family, sexuality, the nature of their job, and social life.

Pelvic congestion syndrome causes pelvic pain that doesn’t come and go in cycles. The pain gets worse during menstruation and after standing or sitting for a long time. To assess pain, a visual analogue scale (VAS) is commonly used. Different investigations report VAS pretreatment pain intensity between 7.2 and 8.5 points.

These numbers show that chronic pelvic congestion syndrome symptoms have a big effect on the quality of life of women with pelvic pain. Pain is typically in the pelvis but can spread to the abdomen and lower back. The pain is a dull ache that sometimes gets really bad and makes it hard for women to do normal things. The complexity of diagnosing the disease requires multiple consultations with specialists (e.g., gynaecologist, urologist, gastroenterologist, neurologist, and proctologist), which takes time and adversely impacts the patient’s psycho-emotional state.

Pelvic congestion syndrome includes psychosomatic problems. Psychiatric disturbances, typically emotional, are a frequent accompaniment of pelvic congestion. Depression (25%–50%), anxiety (10%–20%), and somatic symptoms (10%–20%) often accompany pelvic congestion syndrome. Dysmenorrhea, dysuria, and dyspareunia are the main variables affecting sexual relationships. Long periods of sitting or standing worsen pelvic congestion syndrome pain, limiting work and social life.

No disease-specific quality-of-life tools exist, and generic ones don’t provide enough information to evaluate the quality of life in patients who suffer pelvic congestion syndrome.

A proper estimate of the number of people who have pelvic congestion syndrome and their quality of life has not been studied worldwide. But data on each symptom and comparisons with similar syndromes show that it is common and makes life hard. But we need a systematic plan and studies with a large number of people to find out how common pelvic congestion syndrome is and how it affects people’s lives. However, if you are going through these chronic symptoms, it is important that you talk to a vascular surgeon at the earliest possible time. Early detection provides the advantage of treatment options.