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Pelvic Pain Can Be Related to Varicose Veins

February 27, 2012 | by Molly

Photo Credit: Katie Tegtmeyer

Editor’s note: We’ve published an updated version of this popular post, which includes more recent information and links. Read it now!

Pelvic pain is a debilitating condition that all too often is misdiagnosed and requires careful treatment.  We frequently hear from women who are struggling with varying degrees of pain centered in their pelvic region and after seeing numerous physicians and therapists, they are still left with no plan of care.  It’s no wonder.  Generalized pelvic pain is incredibly hard for healthcare providers to diagnose.  Because the pelvis is so small, the many organs and structures contained within are competing for space, we’ve heard one physician refer to the pelvis as “tight real estate.”  Additionally, the pelvic organs are far less fixed than many people realize, with the organs having the ability to move around quite a bit.  Something that is affecting one organ may very well affect its neighbor organ.

Luckily, for some women suffering from undiagnosed pelvic pain (healthcare providers are unable to pinpoint the cause), a rather innovative diagnosis and possibility for treatment is available.  Last week, WHF’s Director of Wellness Initiatives, Anna Albrecht, and I met with Vascular Surgeon Dr. John White, who is treating a condition called Pelvic Venous Flow Disorder (PVFD), previously known as “Pelvic Congestion Syndrome”, at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, IL.  This condition is associated with varicose veins that can develop and grow within the pelvis. Dr. White extended an invitation for us to view the film of a surgical procedure treating a female patient with varicose veins in her pelvis.

If you’re a faithful reader of this blog, you can imagine that Anna and my nerd alarms went on high alert!  First of all, it is incredibly uncommon for a physician to be so welcoming and generous to us meek nonprofit workers.  We literally jumped at the chance to see a REAL pelvis and this breakthrough treatment up close and personal.

From my personal perspective, I feel that Dr. White is the kind of physician you want; it seems he never stops learning.  His online physician profile lists his philosophy of care as believing “in patient education so that patients can make informed decisions and become partners in their own health care.”  This echoes Women’s Health Foundation’s belief that all women have the right to be educated on every treatment option available to her, not just the one her healthcare provider is suggesting.  Dr. White initially reached out to our organization to find a suitable patient advocate partner to help raise awareness about this treatable condition.

I’m calling Pelvic Venous Flow Disorder a “new” diagnosis because there is not a lot of research on the numbers of women affected by it.  Research estimates that more than 30% of women will have pelvic pain at some point in her life and it has been estimated that as many as 9 million women may have chronic pelvic pain from PVFD.    Here’s my laywoman’s description of Pelvic Venous Flow Disorder:  just like varicose veins in legs, the veins that help blood flow toward the heart have been compromised and a pooling of the blood will occur, which causes the bulging of the veins.  In PVFD, the enlarged veins can be near or inside of the uterus, fallopian tubes, vulva, and vagina.

The pain that PVFD sufferers endure is severe and can have an enormous impact on quality of life.  Symptoms, besides localized pelvic pain, can include varicose veins in the legs, swollen vulva, painful intercourse, painful, heavy menstrual periods, back pain, lethargy, and symptoms of depression.  Dr. White told us the heartbreaking story of two recent patients “… [they] were just despondent.  Both admitted that they were willing to end it all at this point because everyone keeps telling them that they’re crazy.”

Treatment can include a variety of options which range from physical therapy to surgical intervention.  The surgical treatment Dr. White performs is with the aid of a robotic unit, which is less invasive than a laparoscopic procedure.  Depending on the severity of the veins, he will either insert a stent inside the vein or clamp the vein to stop the pooling of blood.  Watching the surgical procedure was truly fascinating, Anna and I were able to observe how mobile the uterus is, as it would easily sway when the surgeon would gently tap it.  Thinking about this, we realized that of course it’s mobile, considering how it needs to easily shift as a baby develops in utero.

Dr. White occasionally sees patients with pelvic pain that has been diagnosed as endometriosis or irritable bowel syndrome.  When describing his interactions with these patients (who also displayed symptoms of depression) Dr. White then shared his “philosophical approach to the pelvis” which made me geek out even more.  (I’m sure Anna would agree)

“The female pelvis is responsible for the survival of the species.  Every developmental change in the human body that adversely affects the pelvis is wiped out as quickly as you can do it.  There’s been a couple million years of getting it right.  It’s a complex mechanism, but it works.” he remarked.

“It’s the center point of the human body.  I tend to believe that when people have a problem with the pelvis, they have a problem with the pelvis.” For these women (who were diagnosed with PVFD), Dr. White’s philosophy must have been a welcome change.

While all undiagnosed pelvic pain isn’t indicative of Pelvic Venous Flow Disorder; I hope that this blog can help at least one woman out there who is dealing with pelvic pain.  If you have a history of varicose veins and struggle with the symptoms above talk to your healthcare provider.

Nerd Girl, Out.



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62 thoughts on “Pelvic Pain Can Be Related to Varicose Veins

  1. Glynna McMann says:

    Have been suffering with pelvic pain for months, but due to my age (67) and the fact I’ve had a hysterectomy, I’m not sure if this is what I have. I have a history of varicose veins and had a vein ligation when I was in my early 40’s, not long after I had a hysterectomy. My whole groin area, right and left inner thighs and across vaginal area hurt and throb while standing or walking for long periods of time. Sitting or lying down relieves the pain. Most everything I’ve seen on this condition says it affects younger women. I also have uterine prolapse, but have had for years and hasn’t seemed to cause pain before. Can someone my age post hysterectomy have PVFD?

  2. Mommyof1 says:

    I just stumbled upon this. I have 2 uteri and 2 cervixes. I had a pregnancy riddled with complications but gave birth to a now healthy 19 month old. I was one uterus is normal sized with the other being smaller and completely covered in veins. My periods are terrible. I also live in IL and I feel like I was meant to find this page!

    1. Lise Wood says:

      We are so glad you have found our website. Please refer back often, as we frequently add new content to the blog and our Healthy Pelvis Center. Your story is so interesting, please feel free to continue to share. all best wishes!

  3. McKenzey says:

    Autumn. I can only answer your questions as they relate to my conditions and diagnoses. I was having major pain during orgasms and periods. Then I started having pelvic pain most of the time throughout the month. I can tell you that if you are seeking to get pregnant, most of the symptoms you are describing cause infertility until repaired. I was eventually diagnosed with endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain, and left ovarian vein syndrome. Most of these can not be diagnosed by X-rays as you asked. It takes an exterior and interior vaginal ultrasound. Endometriosis can not be diagnosed unless you have a laproscopy. While they are in there if they find that then they will burn it off. However there is no cure for it and will most likely come back. Menopause is the only way to stop it. This will cause infertility. Hope this answers some of your questions.

  4. Jeri Keiffer says:

    I had to have a complete hysterectomy because varicose veins were wrapped around my ovaries and hips the surgery was in 1992 . I started having pelvic & groin pain,2 yrs ago, my obgyn did a vaginal ultrasound, showed nothing, but I’m still having the severe pain, can the varicose veins grow back

  5. Ann Brumar says:

    I have been diagnosed with pelvic varicose veins PCS. I had a MRI and I have been told they are large. My doctor wants to do a hysterectomy. I am 45 and have had three c-sections. What are your recommendations. I live in the Metro Detroit area.

  6. mina says:

    So happy to have found this blog. My dull aching pelvic pain around my uterus, moodiness, painful sex, back and hip pain has been with me since the 3rd trimester of the pregnancy with my only son 4 years ago. It has increased in recent months to include inflammation around my labia just before my moon cycle starts and then lots of heavy clotting and flow for the next few days. Managing the pain and discomfort makes it too difficult for me to work these days as a massage therapist at a ski lodge…but I find that I have to work anyways sometimes because I am the only one there and fully booked. I have found that blood stagnation can be relieved somewhat with regular acupuncture, but am now on the path to find out if I have a vericose vein(s) around my reproductive organs or cysts that could be treated with intervention radiology non invasive surgery. If I did have surgery, I would absolutely take Serapeptase (miracle enzyme) as i really found this to be useful after my very violent birth experience and long recovery. My one question would be this…If there was a need for more surgery would waiting it out also be an option. I have heard that once you reach a certain age around menopause, that pelvic pain seems to go away. I really don’t want to get talked into invasive surgery if I can expect to experience less symptoms in a few years as i approach menopause. I am 42 years old now.

  7. Junie says:

    I stumbled across this discussion while searching for the proper descriptive words for uterine varicose veins as I was updating my medical history for yet another new doctor visit. Thirty-three years ago I had a complete hysterectomy (both ovaries, too) because of what my doctor at the time thought was severe endometriosis. I had suffered from increasinglly debilitating lower abdominal pain since the onset of puberty. This doctor said it was time for surgery (although now that I look back on it, I don’t know how he knew that.) In any event, since it was an abdominal (not vaginal…and no tiny cameras back then, either) surgery and I was awake on a spinal block (a general was too risky for me back then for reasons not important to this discussion) we had an ongoing discussion about what he was looking at. I remember very clearly that he called over another surgeon and a nurse to say, “Have you ever seen such large veins covering everything?!?” I was 33 years old, but I was done having kids, and it really did make that pain go away completely.

    Unfortunately, I have many more pain sites to manage.

    Fast forward to the present and I have a question for those who are suffering from uterine varicosity (and pardon the seeming randomness of the question): does anyone else suffer from various other GI issues such as GERD, IBS, gastroparesis, bladder prolapse, rectal prolapse? If so, do you (or did you before you got old like me) also have hypermobile joints (we used to call it “double-jointed”)?

    I’m trying to determine whether the varicosity is part of my Joint Hypermobility Disorder (JHS), also known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility Type. It causes weak collagen so organs and blood vessels are not as strong, hence the varicosity. (It also causes loose joints, hence joint pain.

    Anyone else out there suffering a myriad of GI issues and joint pain along with uterine varicose veins?

    1. josephine says:

      I as well got diagnosed with pelvic venous congestion and two years ago hypermobility syndrome. Now I am wondering if this is related. Also I had a mesentary artery blood clot before all that.

    2. Rachel says:

      Junie, please read my response written to Trish (she commented a long time ago on this site so scroll up). I really think the info that I wrote could help u greatly! Good luck and respond to me if you need more advice or clarifying.

    3. McKenzey says:

      Very interesting. I was diagnosed with hypermobility by my ruematologist. This is after I was hospitalized for colitis. I have severe trouble with digestion, constipation, and my bowels, on top of endometriosis and fibromyalgia. It seems most of these are related. What they call primary and secondary overlapping conditions

  8. Kristine says:

    I am post-menopausal and have recently started having intermittent, lower left abdominal pain that is a dull ache radiating down my leg. It’s very uncomfortable. I have IBS, but this is something new and different. What doctor specialty do you recommend I consult? OB/GYN, gastrointestinal, vascular, something else?

    1. Nancy says:

      That is exactly what I have! Went to urologist for possible kidney stones and did a cat scan with contrast where they noticed dilated ovarian veins. Told me I had them just as a passing comment. Did research and I believe that’s what it is. Went to gynecologist and she said..hysterectomy, vein embolism or inserted progesterone birth control. Haven’t decided what to do yet. When you get the scan, be warned, sometimes the veins lay flat and they don’t see them. Tell them to look carefully! Good luck!

  9. alonna grimm says:

    Were to go in Ohio

  10. Lola❤️ says:

    Ty for ur article
    I’ve been suffering for over 6 yrs now.
    I had a laparoscopy done n was told all was well but I had “a lot” of veins on my ovaries n uterus.
    I work in an ob office n never heard of this. I started to do research myself (search internet) n saw pcs. My ob had never heard of it. I asked for a referral to interventional radiology. I went n had a consult. I was offered the option of having the vein blocked. After further research I read it’s better to have the gonadal artery removed all together. There is no one in my area who does this 😕

    Any suggestions ?

  11. YT says:


    I have had a loop diathermy of the Uteri been done yesterday and I have been resting on my bed most of the time but by evening I have been having cramps on my right leg and a lower back pain. Is it normal to have these as side effects? I hv been taking ibrufen but it doesnt seem to help. Please advise.
    I am a 34 year old mother of a 2 & 1/2 year old son.

  12. NL says:

    Hi, great read. My Obstetrician just recently found I have varicose in my uterus on the left side of my cesarean scar. This was my second cesarean and only arose after it. I do suffer from varicose veins mostly on my menstrual days and just before. I also suffer from hemorrhoids if I’m not super carefulness with my diet. I have been offered pain management in the form of a pill. I want to have more kids but don’t know the implications of all this are. I bled between cycles and they believe it’s from the veins. It’s hard to find information on this so thank you for a little insight.

  13. Cassandra says:

    I am very glad I came across this article. My periods pre-babies gave me no problems, they didn’t phase me. I have since had 3 babies and when I get my period now I have excruciating pain on the 1st day. I literally have to hold my vagina because of the pain/pressure in my veins that flow through there (the vein on my labia is so obvious then…) Also, I get back pain (which I never previously had), it feels like pre-labor almost…anyway…I am curious if this is being caused by PVFD has it been found that the pain would radiate into the hips as well. I recently have been having hip pain, and then today I felt that a varicose vein that runs down the back of my left leg was feeling full/plump and hurt! Any input would be appreciated. thank you.

  14. Kristen says:

    I’ve had vericose veins for a few years now. I’m about 15 weeks pregnant and in soooo much pain. My dr said it wouldn’t affect my pregnancy (this is our 3rd and final) I’m just worried that I’m going to be in more and more pain as the pregnancy goes along. I have sharp fast pains all the time. When I get up fast from sitting the pain shoots hard. It’s on my lower right part of my stomach. Can somebody please let me know if their pain got worse as they were further along. Thanks.

  15. chrystal says:

    I am having thr same problem as many of these women most of mine didn’t start till after I had my daughter I had a cardirization don’t on my utures to help the vains and the bleeding was bad….I am still having bad pains still can’t have sex because it hurts so bad. That I can’t do anything..the only choice that I have found is to have a hysterectomy and I’m only 25 what else can I do I need help

  16. Norma says:

    Hello. For the past 1.5 year, i have been experiencing a severe pain in my uterus, pelvic area. Ct scan, ultrasound, xrays, blood work along with my yearly exams were not detecting nothing wrong with me. My doctor recommended seeing a gynecologist whom suggest the next best thing to do was the laparoscopy procedure done. Sometimes there are things wrong with us women that other test cant detect so i agreed. Sure enough my doctor found as he could only describe it as varicose veins in my pelvic. I am his first patient with this problem and pretty much told me that he will be looking further into this problem and is very uncommon but does exist. He said he would reccomend me getting a second opinion but a hysterectomy would probably be by best solution to this problem. But now as i am doing my own research i will keep my options opened and make sure that a hysterectomy is whats best for me.

  17. Trish says:

    Hello. I do not normal post on blogs/forums but I am at the end of my rope. I have been having severe lower back/pelvic pain since the beginning of August. The pain also shoots down my thighs. Sex with my husband is often painful, along with pain in my uterus region. At times I have abnormal discharge. The pain is there most days, but sometimes I can go a week or so without it. I had an ultrasound done in September and they said everything was normal, just a little cyst on one of my ovaries. I had blood work done and everything came back perfect. On November 1st I had a diagnostic laparoscopy and when I went back to my gyno on November 11th, they told me they found no signs of endo. He showed me the pictures from the laparoscopy and in the pictures he showed me one spot that he said had congested blood vessels. He said that he took them out and sent a biopsy to a pathologist and that the pathologist said that they were of no concern, so another dead end. Well today is November 13th and this morning I once again have the lower back/pelvic pain and pain shooting down my thighs bad enough that it is restricting what I do. I feel as if people believe it is all “in my head” and that is so discouraging. I do not know where to go from here and am searching for direction.

    1. Norma says:

      This is a major growing problem from what I see. I think you should look into getting a second opinion. If that second doctor tells you the same thing then keep searching. Good luck!!

    2. Rachel says:

      This comment is for all of you ladies who said they had terrible endometriosis-like symptoms but their laparoscopy results came back negative for endo: Ladies, the amount of misinformation surrounding endometriosis is abhorrent! Unless you doctor is a TRUE specialist who specializes ONLY in endo, you are going to the wrong person! There are only about 10 or so genuine endo specialists in the world so DO NOT believe a regular gyn if they say they r an endo specialist. (For a list of the specialists, join Nancy’s Nook, a Facebook support group for women with endo and the absolutely only support group with completely correct info on endo).i need to stress that only an endo specialist who does EXCISION SURGERY for the endo, NOT ablation will be able to find every single tiny piece of endo in your body and remove it properly. Ladies, even if you’ve already had a lap and were told that there was no endo or only a minuscule amount, DO NOT give up until you have been to Nancy’s nook and seen a true specialist on her list. I can tell you from my own personal experience that regular GYN’s overlook areas with endo because they are not specialized enough to identify every type of endo. I had 4 laparoscopic surgeries, plus a hysterectomy (which is btw, NOT a cure for endo) and was still in agony until I saw a specialist at the Center for Endometrisis Care in Atlanta, GA two months ago. I can honestly tell u all that after ten years of absolute hell, I finally have my life back. Don’t despair if u still have pain after being told u don’t have endo! Find a specialist and get the job done right! Your life will change forever!

  18. Yesenia says:

    I was diagnosed with varicose veins in the uterus in March and was told to take Motrin. The stabbing, shooting pain has gotten worse & my doctor said I had 3 options; 1) ablation 2) IUD or 3) hysterectomy. Are there any other options? I am a nervous wreck! Any help/suggestions are appreciated.

  19. Tina says:

    I have had rt. sided pain and underwent a diagnostic lap. Dec. 2011 only to find out that I had a varicosity leading into the rt. side of my uterus.I am told that the varicosity was the size of the diameter of my pinky. I am in healthcare an knew there was interventional radiology but was unable to find one to consult with to see if I was even a candidate, being that these radiologist don’t practice in an office. So thinking about blood flow I decided to have my uterus removed thinking that the varicosity would shrink if my uterus was removed. April 2012 had uterus and rt. ovary removed. the area seemed to settle down a bit, but by october my cervix prolapsed. After doing some research on prolapse , i sought out a urogynecologist who then did a tracholectomy and a sacrocolcopexy in Dec. 2012. I did not return to work until March2013 and started to experience pelvic floor spasm. Now after 25 treatments in women’s heath PT to treat spasms. The spasm have become minimal, so I think, but I am having terrible rt. sided pain, which leads me to believe there is still a varicosity, the Md. has me on muscle relaxers and pain meds which only dull the pain. Im being told it is spasms in the rt. internal obturator and the rt. ilopsoas and trigger-point injections are my next option, but I am not convinced of this. I am still thinking it is the varicosity, but I am at a loss of how to pursue this. Any advice would be helpful, I am tired of the daily pain and worried about becoming dependent on pain meds to function.Any suggestions?

    1. mina says:

      Tina..try melatonin and magnesium for the spasms before bed and some serapetase for post surgery..take care.

  20. Molly says:

    There are vascular surgeons that perform uterus-preserving surgery on the veins. I’m not sure who in the UK is doing this but it’s worth a chat with a vascular surgeon. Here’s the wiki page:

  21. Selina says:

    Im 27 and live in england, I had a laparoscopy done 9 months ago and was told i had no endometriosis which they thought and it was all clear, been to docs every week since then in pain and just been stuffed full of painkillers, saw a private gynacologist who told me i have dilated veins in my uterus and that the only option was to have a hysterectomy to sort it out but ive read you can have an embolization to cut the blood supply off to those veins but she told me they dont do it for that, as i mentioned before im only 27 with one child and i would like one more but there must be other effective treatments other than just the hysterectomy, please help me

  22. Eva says:

    This is a great step in the right direction. I am in bed right now on my heating pad feeling hopeless. I suffer from a rare condition called renal entrapment syndrome and one thing it causes is `varicose veins in my uterus… Extremely painful!! I am hopefully having my renal vein fixed but that only fixes that problem. The pelvic pain is debilitating and frustrating! Does anyone have any advice?
    Thank you!

  23. naomi says:

    I had severe pain during my period. I stayed in bed except to go to the bathroom and then it was still pretty bad. Also i had lots of blood clots. Some were quite large. I went to one gyn who did a d&c. I was still in pain. When i went back to him about it he just ignored me. So i asked an operating room nurse who she would recommend. She told me about a doctor that treated me like a person. He was gentle while examining me and apologized for hurting me during the exam. We set an immediate date for a hysterectomy. It was one of the best things i ever did. By the way, because i was still young, the doctor decided to leave my healthy ovaries so i would not have to go into immediate menopause. It was after the surgery that the doctor explained that the problem was varicose veins. This was before ultrsound and other great technology we have now. My advice is to ask around to find a great doctor and then work with him/her to find your best solution. Pills will not help this kind of pain.

  24. Molly says:

    Hi Jenea,
    Dr. White didn’t necessarily “coin” the term but he’s doing a lot of surgeries for this disorder. He’s located at a hospital in a suburb of Chicago – here’s his profile:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your pain (to all of you commenting on this blog!). I really hope that raising awareness of this disorder can help more women!

  25. jenea88 says:

    Jenea on June 21, 2013 at 8:12 PM
    Please provide me contact information for this surgeon who has coined the term PVFD. This may be my answer!

    I have had pelvic floor pain since the start of my third trimester of pregnancy, which was one year, 8 months ago, which has been diagnosed as pelvic floor spasm. I have seen my regular OB/GYN, a Urogyneologist, completed 2 rounds of physical therapy, a series of neuromuscular massages, seen an Internist, done home biofeedback therapy, and now I am left with a “pain doctor,” who inserted a caudal epidural and performed countless trigger point injections over the past year, all with absolutely no relief.

    I have an older aunt who recalls having similar symptoms which improved after removal of vericose veins in her pelvic region.

    Thank you!!! Your article, may be my saving grace.
    Jenea Tener ARNP

  26. Jenea says:

    Please provide me contact information for this surgeon who has coined the term PVFD. This may be my answer!

    I have had pelvic floor pain since the start of my third trimester of pregnancy, which was one year, 8 months ago, which has been diagnosed as pelvic floor spasm. I have seen my regular OB/GYN, a Urogyneologist, completed 2 rounds of physical therapy, a series of neuromuscular massages, seen an Internist, done home biofeedback therapy, and now I am left with a “pain doctor,” who inserted a caudal epidural and performed countless trigger point injections over the past year, all with absolutely no relief.

    I have an older aunt who recalls having similar symptoms which improved after removal of vericose veins in her pelvic region.

    Thank you!!! Your article, may be my saving grace.
    Jenea Tener ARNP

  27. Molly says:

    Jess, I’m so happy to hear that my blog helped you! I’m not sure about physicians in Australia but in my experience, I’ve found that Australians are WAY ahead of the curve when it comes to pelvic health and wellness. I would discuss with your OB and see if they can refer you to a vascular surgeon.

  28. Jess says:

    THANKYOU! I sat here in tears as I read this article. it answered so many of my questions. I have been treated for severe endometriosis for 6 years now and after having pains worse than usual was taken to the er by my husband this week. My radiologist picked up varicose veins on my uterus, the hospital sent me home with that being the only thing they told me. After reading this I’m making an appointment with my ob gyn first thing Monday to find out my options. I have been in hell for the last 12 months as my pain has increased and my husband is suffering too. Do you know of anyone treating this in Australia?

  29. Kasey says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. I am having my uterus taken tomorrow morning due to severe pain since 2002. First, I was told I had ovarian cyst that is causing my pain but while in surgery to remove cyst or ovaries, doctors discovered a tremendous amount of varicose veins on my uterus. They did not have to remove my ovaries and found out the real problem. I have dull consistent pain and severe pain during intercourse. I also have pain in my upper thigh and sometimes down my leg due to pressure on my veins. I will post after my surgery.

  30. Sara says:

    Hi Ladies,
    I’m glad I found this blog. I too have just been diagnosed with varicose vein on and around my uterus. I thought all of my pelvic pain was due to the IUD that I had placed after the birth of my second child. But my NP said the only way to really know was to get an ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed not only varicose veins but also a cyst on each ovary and fibroids. The pain is constant and dull most days and severe during intercourse, ovulation and menstrual cycles. I have very long and heavy periods. My ob gave me only 1 option: hysterectomy. I am 37 years old and don’t plan on having any more children but could the veins and cysts be a result of the IUD?

  31. Terry says:

    I had the laparoscopic supracervical hysterectomy almost 10 years ago and walked out of the surgery feeling so much better and experiencing less pain than I had in years. The diagnosis had been varicose veins on my uterus, they discovered it with a pelvic ultrasound. I had suffered with pain and heavy periods all of my life and was excited to discover that there was a reason and that something could be done. (I had 3 children and did not plan to have any more) My question now is, can there be other organs affected by varicose veins?

  32. Angela says:

    I have been experiencing all the PCS symptoms that everyone is describing here. Every doctor has tried putting me on birth control, given me ibuprofen and basically told me its all in my head. I had an ultra sound done and. When the ultrasound was being done, I asked why (to the tech) I had such an abnormal amount of red showing on the screen. She said it was an unusual amount of blood flow?!? I have been doing research on my own since that is the only way I am getting answers. I have been describing the pain in my pelvis, not being able to stand the day before and the first day of my period. The pressure is so excruciating. The pain radiates down my legs. My varicose veins and spider veins that I have on my legs turn dark purple and swollen. I had brought this up to my PCP and OBGYN and they said most people have horrible periods and I have to deal with it if I don’t want Birth control or an IUD. That would be the only solution. Birth control makes me break out in varicose and spider veins and makes me feel worse hormonally. When I asked if there was any varicose veins on my ultra sound they said “everything looks normal”. I am so frustrated because something is wrong and none of the doctors are listening. They tell me “no one has ever come to me with these symptoms before”.

  33. Alicia says:

    Thank you Dr. White!

  34. Rebecca Bunner says:

    Sept 2012 with abnormal periods and heavy bleeding and pain on my left side radiating down my leg.. going thru a pad an hour…my obgyn did blood work and ultra sound… all normal.. she did a d&c and ablation… removed scar tissue where i had my tubes tied in 1996. Two weeks after the surgery.. i had severe pain.. went to the er and they found nothing…went for my check up and she just put me on pain meds and sent me for another ultra sound… said all was normal and said i had no gynecological reason for my pain.. sent me to a general surgeon.. he looked over all my charts and said my only reason he could find where my pain was coming from was my ovaries and that it WAS gynecological realted.. it was dec 11 2012 before i could get into another dr… in pain for 3 months…he did a vaginal ultra sound and found… blood filled cysts and my right ovary was non-existing.. and my uterus was grey and infected.. how did this dr miss this?? cause she didnt do the ultra sound herself? had a complete hysterectomy on dec 14…still had pain in my left side.. but couldnt find anything wrong.. 4 1/2 months later.. started cramping and bleeding..drippng out of me.. went to the dr and he found granular tissue that turned into.. for lack of a better term,, varicose vein.. he tried to cut it out and burn it .. without!!! any pain meds.. it hurt me bad… made an appt on this weds may 1st to have it done in his office with pain pills.. im scared to scared i will feel it…whos to say i dont have more inside me causeing the pain to radiate down my leg…i’ve had charlie horses in my left leg since he did this on wed…still bleeding…….any suggestions on what i should do about this?

  35. Dr. White says:


    It is likely you have Pelvic Venous Flow Disorder (PVFD) which is certainly not life threatening and generally not a serious condition. It is a condition that involves blood flowing through the veins in the pelvis. These veins generally connect to the ovaries and the uterus and may form into varicose veins. The symptoms these varicose veins cause are pelvic heaviness, aching or stinging in the area of the left ovary during or after intercourse, and/or may lead to heavier periods. They do not alter the function of the uterus in any way that we have found and would not cause problems during pregnancy. If you are having symptoms from these varicose veins and are concerned, they can usually be treated by blocking the abnormal blood flow in these veins. This does not change the function of the uterus or ovaries in any way. We don’t know of any problems with fertility or conception. If you have additional concerns, please feel free to call my office at 847.723.3995.

    Dr. White

  36. Alicia says:

    Thank you Molly!

  37. Molly says:

    I’m sorry to hear that, Alicia! I’ll email them and get back to you.

  38. Alicia says:

    Molly – still have not heard anything from Dr. White or his nurse. Thanks.

  39. Bethany Miller says:

    after many many years of complaining, being told i was crazy and that nothing was wrong with me, i finally had a laproscopy (sp?) i was told that my colon had fused to my organs and had to be cut away and that i also have varicose veins on my uterus. I was told that i would just have to live with the pain but it is killing me. My job suffers, my kid suffers and most of all i suffer and i have to try to put on a brave face every day. I have never been so depressed in my life and dont see an end to all of this. I have not been back to the doctors recently due to insurance and also because im tired of being told there is nothing wrong. Thank you for your blog, it has helped me realize im not alone

  40. ann says:

    I am 41 yrs. old and have 2 children 10 and 12. I just recently learned that I have PVFD in my uterus. My Dr. told me the only solution is a hysterectomy. Do u feel the is the best solution? Can u also tell me what causes this to happen?

  41. Molly says:

    I forwarded your comment to Dr. White and his nurse, Connie. They will send you a private email. Let me know if you don’t hear from them.

  42. Alicia says:

    I am 27, was told I have varicose veins on my uterus last year through a laproscopy. I have never been pregnant and am now scared to even get pregnant. My obgyn does not want me doing any surgeries or anything with fear it could affect me getting pregnant/maintaining a pregnancy. Has anyone heard of varicose veins in someone who has never been pregnant? Any thoughts on the future of me having children?

  43. Nancy says:


    I have varicose veins all throughout my pelvis. It was diagnosed by a Tesla3MRI. I am getting an ovarian vein embolization procedure next week. They are performed by an interventional radiologists. It is supposed to be much less invasive than surgery ith a high success rate. Check it out. I don’t think it can be done while you are pregnant but afterwards for sure.

    1. Melissa O. says:

      Hi Nancy,
      I am suffering from pelvic congestion syndrome and am days away from having an ovarian vein embolization. I am curious how your recovery went…painful? Better or worse?
      I appreciate your response to your experience.
      Thank you for your time.

  44. melissa says:

    I was diagnosed several years ago with a softball sized vein on the right side of my uterus and a smaller one on my right ovary. Everyone thinks I am crazy because I am in pain and on narcotics everyday and I didn’t want to have a hysterectomy (which I was told was my option because of the size and location of the vein surgery wasn’t available??)I am on my 5th (and last because everyone thinks I’m an idiot to be in pain all day every day just to have more children when I have so many)pregnancy and I am in even more pain than usual because as my uterus grows, that vein is running out of room. I wasn’t expecting the pain to be so bad and I am terrified about the rest of the pregnancy. I am only 16 weeks in. I wish I had more doctors around here that actually believed this was a problem that could cause pain. The pelvic pain specialist I went to upstate was the one that diagnosed me and seemed the only even slightly informed on this condition. I am glad you wrote this because it really is something that more women should know about. I suffered with pain diagnosed as just endometriosis and ovarian cysts (which I also have but had other pain they couldn’t explain and just thought I was crazy). I am glad the word is at least starting to get out.

  45. Molly says:

    If you’ve been diagnosed with varicose veins in the uterus, you can get surgical treatment to improve the symptoms. Are you located near Chicago?

  46. dawn says:

    And i can’t have sex with my husband because it hurts. what do i do??

  47. dawn says:

    I was just told i had vericous viens of the uterous and reacurring hem. cist on right overie and that there’s nothing they can do just alternate tylenol to help with pain. is that all there is???

  48. Roxann says:

    Melissa, I have suffered the last 10 years with chronic lower back pain, muscle cramps, migraines, lower abdominal pains, and the last few months of intercourse pain. I have been diagnose with fibromyalgia. All test come back normal. I went and seen my ob doctor that seen me 10 years ago. After about 2 months of discussions, I went for a hysterectomy, after surgery he told my husband I had a start of endometriosis, a cyst on one of my ovaries, and varicose veins around my uterus.
    I am 9 days into recovery and I am feeling better already. My backaches are minimum, so far no muscle cramps, and I have not had a migraine. I know it has only been 9 days since surgery, but I can tell a difference. Not suggestion surgery, but am suggesting you to find an OB Doctor and ask to be checked for varicose veins.

  49. Molly says:

    Melissa – I just sent you a private message. Let me know if you did not receive it.

  50. Melissa says:

    Hi, in august of 2003 I gave birth to my beautiful little boy Travis. He was two weeks late weighing in at 9lbs6ozs. Since that day I have went from a girl who had no pain to being a girl who is in pain 95% of the time. I delivered my son naturally and require a lot is stitches and was told by my ob that my bladder was actually protruding out after the birth. He seemed to push it in stitch me up and leave. Four days after giving birth I started passing some massive blood clots one softball size and five or six golf ball size I was also told not to worry. At my six week all was brushed off I tried to tell my ob about all of this and she swept it under the rug and I was told all was well. I know it is terrible but after that point I was turned off so I lived the next five years with out seeing an ob/gyn even though I was experiencing serious pain. The pain I have has complete altered my life. I can not have intercourse with my husband without excruciating pain I have painful cramps at all times some so bad it takes me to my knees and then there is the terrible mood swings I feel as if I want to crawl under a rock! In 2008 the pain was so terrible I saw a new Ob/gyn. She treated me as if I had endometriosis she put me on Yaz to see if it would help and had me return 6 months later. I had no relief. So she decided to keep me on the Yaz but to not take the placebo pills in which 5 months in I started bleeding. I called her and she decided to schedule a laparoscopy in three weeks I continued to bleed for the three weeks. She ended up doing a D and C along with the surgery. After surgery I was told my uterus was covered in varicose veins she wasn’t sure if this was the cause of my pain. My Givin options were live in pain go back on birth control or have my uterus removed. I decided to live with pain. I revisited the office six months later and saw a physicians assistant because my Dr. was in surgery. I rexplained my self and was asked if my husband was a cheater she was convinced I was given an STD or had a severe bladder infection. I was mortified she told me she needed to give me a pelvic examine to which she did very forcefully I literally was bleeding after she after my test came back negative she told me I had noting wrong and the pain I had was in my head! After this I gathered myself together and went to my car and cryied I later called the office and informed them of the incident. I was told they were sorry and the proper mode of disciple would be met. I have not been back and have not seen a Ob/gyn since. The problem is the pain is worsening and I am still not convinced on the whole idea of the hysterectomy. Is there any other options? Thanks!

  51. Molly says:

    Hi Hannah,
    I’m sending you a private message right now to your email. Let me know if you don’t get it!

  52. Hannah says:

    I just had a hystoscopy and a dnc done and nothing was found except that I have some varicose veins on my uterus. I was told nothing can be done for it and to live with the pain if that’s even what’s causing my pain and if I want I can try I diuretic pill and to only take it as I feel uncomfortable. My problem is I’m always in pain. I can’t have sex with my husband without being in pain. This pain didn’t start till after the second birth of our child. Who was held in me for 30 min. waiting on the Dr. to show up who did, 15 min. after she was born! That’s when all the pain really started. My discharges seemed to be off too. But at my 6 week check up, they didn’t check anything out. That was 2 yrs ago. Now something is found and I’m told to take a pill as needed but it may not help and only take it every so often. If this will help, I’d like your input. If pain and irregular bleeding is something I’m going to have to learn to live with then I will.

  53. Anna Albrecht says:

    Yes, Anna agrees, wholeheartedly! At the top of the long list of wonderful things about working for WHF is the opportunity to meet highly skilled practitioners who sincerely want to help people. “Commitment to Excellence” has become a bit of a marketing buzz-phrase, one that makes my inner gimmick-o-meter blink. Dr. White and his team embody this commitment, though. They not only drive themselves to seek root causes to very complex clinical cases, but also raise the bar for better communication among health care providers.

    I can’t wait to go back!