Varicose veins are unsightly, enlarged veins found on the legs, but did you know that they can also occur in the groin and pelvis and may be causing your groin pain? There are two different conditions referred to as pelvic congestion syndrome and varicoceles that are caused by varicose veins in the groin and pelvis, one of which occurs in women, pelvic congestion syndrome, and one of which occurs in men, varicocele. Both pelvic congestion syndrome and varicoceles can affect both of either side of the groin/pelvis, but both are much more common on the left side.
Risk Factors for Developing Varicose Veins in Groin and Pelvis
Women that develop pelvic congestion syndrome are typically of childbearing age and those that have given birth to multiple children. Men that develop varicoceles do not have any particular factors that increase the risk for development, such as age or activity level.
Symptoms of Varicose Veins in Groin and Pelvis
The concern for either pelvic congestion syndrome or varicoceles, is the symptoms associated with these conditions, however some individuals may never experience any symptoms and may simply be diagnosed on routine medical or imaging examination, however they can also be causing groin pain.
- Varicocele: Causes a dull ache that may turn to a sharp pain in one or both scrotum, which worsens with heavy exercise, standing for longer periods of time, and increases in temperature. The inability to conceive a child or difficulty with conceiving a child is a possibility, however this is much less common than the pain symptoms.
- Pelvic Congestion Syndrome: Causes a feeling of heaviness with aching and may have sharp pains associated in the pelvis. Symptoms tend to worsen just before and while on a menstrual cycle. Other notable symptoms are an urge to urinate and the possibility of visible veins on the labia, buttocks and inner thighs.
Treatment Options for Groin and Pelvis Varicose Veins
Even though varicoceles and pelvic congestion syndrome may come without symptoms, there are treatment options that are available, which do have some similarities between these syndromes.
- Surgery: Consists of both open and laparoscopic options to treat varicoceles by way of repairing the veins. For women with pelvic congestion syndrome, the surgical option is to remove the uterus during a procedure called a hysterectomy.
- Embolization: Is a minimally invasive procedure in which imaging is used to locate the abnormal veins in order to damage the vein, which will eventually scar upon itself and prevent further blood flow through the damaged vein.
If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, visit with your doctor to determine if this is from a varicocele or pelvic congestion syndrome and the best treatment options for you.
Talk to a Vein Specialist
Speak with Dr. Julian Javier, a board certified interventional cardiologist and endovascular specialist in Naples, Florida. He will discuss your medical history, perform a thorough exam, and determine if you are experiencing varicose veins in the groin and pelvis and if they are causing groin pain. He will also explain what treatment options are available and right for you to help you get rid of those varicose veins.