Category: Pelvic Pain

May-Thurner Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

May-Thurner Syndrome

May-Thurner Syndrome, also known as iliac vein compression syndrome, is a health problem that arises when the left iliac vein, becomes compressed by the right iliac artery against the spine. This article will explore the risk factors, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and frequently asked questions about May-Thurner Syndrome (MTS).

Causes of May-Thurner Syndrome

May-Thurner Syndrome is caused by the anatomical variation of the iliac vessels, which increases the risk of iliac vein compression, leading to potential complications. The left iliac vein typically passes under the right iliac artery, and when this anatomical relationship is altered, compression can occur, potentially affecting the flow of blood.

The exact reasons for this variation are not fully understood, but it is believed to be influenced by genetic factors, which may result in symptoms like pelvic pain, back pain, varicose veins of the legs, leg swelling and more. In cases of severe compression, there are minimally invasive treatment options, such as stent placement that can alleviate the symptoms of the condition.

Symptoms of May-Thurner Syndrome

MTS often presents a range of symptoms, which can vary in severity from person to person. Some common symptoms associated with the condition include:

Leg Pain: May-Thurner Syndrome worsens with activity and extended sitting or standing.

Leg Swelling: Common symptom of May-Thurner Syndrome, caused by impaired blood flow and fluid buildup in the affected area.

Varicose Veins: May-Thurner Syndrome can lead to visible varicose veins, which are enlarged and twisted veins.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): May-Thurner Syndrome increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which means blood clots in the leg’s deep veins.

Pelvic Pain: Some patients may experience pelvic pain due to the compression of the iliac vein in the pelvic region.


Diagnosis of May-Thurner Syndrome

Diagnosing May-Thurner Syndrome requires a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical history, a physical examination, and various imaging tests. Some of the commonly used diagnostic methods include:

Ultrasound: Ultrasound imaging is often the initial diagnostic tool used to visualize the blood flow in the affected area. It can help identify blood clots, vein compression, and other abnormalities.

Venography: It involves injecting a contrast dye into the veins and taking X-rays to check blood flow and spot blockages or compressions.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRI provides detailed images of the blood vessels and surrounding structures, helping in the diagnosis of May-Thurner Syndrome.


Treatment Options for May-Thurner Syndrome

Treatment for May-Thurner Syndrome aims to enhance blood flow, relieve symptoms, and prevent complications like deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Treatment methods vary based on condition severity and the patient’s overall health. Common approaches include:

Angioplasty and Stenting: Angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure where a small balloon is inserted into the compressed vein and inflated to widen the narrowed area. In some cases, a stent, a small mesh-like tube, may be placed in the vein to keep it open and improve blood flow.

Compression Stockings: Compression stockings are elastic garments worn on the legs to apply pressure and improve blood flow. They can help reduce swelling and alleviate leg pain associated with May-Thurner Syndrome.

Blood-Thinning Medications: Anticoagulant medications, commonly known as blood thinners, are often prescribed to prevent the formation of blood clots and reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis. These medications do not dissolve existing clots but can prevent them from growing larger and new ones from forming.



May-Thurner Syndrome is a vascular disorder that can lead to significant discomfort and potential complications if left untreated. It is essential to recognize the symptoms and seek medical attention promptly to prevent the progression of the condition and reduce the risk of serious consequences such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. With advances in diagnostic and treatment options, patients with May-Thurner Syndrome can lead a better quality of life with improved blood flow and symptom management.



Are there any long-term complications associated with May-Thurner Syndrome?
Yes, if left untreated, May-Thurner Syndrome can lead to long-term complications such as chronic leg pain, persistent swelling, skin changes, and even ulcers in severe cases. Additionally, the risk of developing blood clots and related complications such as pulmonary embolism are a top concern.

Is May-Thurner Syndrome more common in certain demographics?
Yes, May-Thurner Syndrome is more commonly seen in women, and it is believed that hormonal factors may play a role in its development. The condition is more prevalent in individuals between the ages of 20 and 50. Many women post pregnancy discover they are afflicted with May-Thurner Syndrome (MTS).



Understanding Pelvic Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Management

Pelvic pain is an uncomfortable or achy sensation experienced in the lower belly area, around the pelvis, which includes the hips. This region has various organs such as the bladder, intestines, and reproductive system, making it a complex area to experience pain as there can be several causes for the pain being experienced.

Pelvic pain can vary in intensity from mild to severe and may last for a short or extended period. It can occur suddenly or persist over time.

Both men and women can experience pelvic pain. Other terms frequently used when referring to the pelvic venous disease include pelvic congestion syndrome, Iliac vein compression syndrome, May-Thurner syndrome, gonadal or ovarian vein reflux, pelvic varices, and enlarged pelvic veins.

Causes of Pelvic Pain

Discovering the reasons behind pelvic pain is the first step to a better life! We take a close look at gynecological, urological, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal factors that could be causing discomfort. Our goal is to provide relief and improve your overall well-being.

A. Gynecological Causes

1. Uterine Fibroids: Non-cancerous growths in the uterus, uterine fibroids can lead to pelvic pressure and pain. Common symptoms include heavy menstrual bleeding, cramps, and an enlarged uterus. Hysteroscopy is one of the treatment options for fibroids.

2. Pelvic Venous Congestion Disease: Pelvic venous congestion disease (PVCD) is a condition in which there is an abnormal pooling of blood in the pelvic veins. It can cause chronic pelvic pain, especially in women who have had multiple pregnancies. Treatment options may include pelvic vein embolization or surgical interventions.

3. May-Thurner Syndrome: May-Thurner Syndrome is a condition where the left iliac vein is compressed by the right iliac artery, leading to venous stasis and pelvic pain. It can be associated with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and requires prompt medical evaluation and treatment.

4. Menstrual Disorders: Pelvic pain can be triggered by hormonal imbalances and uterine contractions during menstruation, leading to conditions like dysmenorrhea (painful periods) and menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding). Appropriate treatment can help manage menstrual discomfort effectively.

5. Endometriosis: This condition involves the growth of tissue similar to the uterus lining outside the uterus, causing pelvic pain, especially during menstruation. Hormonal imbalance and chronic inflammation play a role in this condition, which can also lead to fertility issues.

6. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): PID is a reproductive infection causing pelvic pain, fever, and abnormal vaginal discharge. It is often linked to sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea and can lead to chronic pelvic pain and fertility problems if left untreated.

7. Ovarian Cysts: Small fluid-filled sacs on the ovaries, ovarian cysts can cause pelvic pain if they rupture or twist. Different types of cysts exist, including functional, dermoid, endometriomas, and cystadenomas. Early detection is essential for reproductive health and to rule out ovarian cancer.

B. Urological Causes

1. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): UTIs are caused by bacteria entering the urinary tract, leading to pelvic discomfort, frequent urination, and a burning sensation while urinating. Treatment involves antibiotics and staying hydrated. Prompt medical attention is essential, and a urine culture helps with diagnosis.

2. Interstitial Cystitis (Bladder Pain Syndrome): This chronic condition causes bladder pain, pelvic pressure, and painful urination. Other symptoms include frequent urination, lower abdominal pain, and bladder inflammation. Diagnosis involves cystoscopy and hydrodistension.

C. Gastrointestinal Causes

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): A functional gastrointestinal disorder causing abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, and pelvic pain. Symptoms include diarrhea, constipation, bloating, cramping, and urgency to defecate. Managing IBS involves dietary changes, stress management, and identifying triggers for gut health.

2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, IBD causes digestive tract inflammation and pelvic discomfort. Symptoms include chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and weight loss. Treatment may involve biologic medications and managing inflammatory flare-ups.

3. Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix causes severe pelvic and abdominal pain. It requires immediate medical attention and is treated with an appendectomy. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, and loss of appetite. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent complications.


D. Musculoskeletal Causes

1. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction: Weak or tight pelvic floor muscles can cause pelvic pain, urinary problems, and discomfort during intercourse. Treatment includes physical therapy, Kegel exercises, and relaxation techniques.

2. Muscle Strains and Sprains: Pelvic region muscle strains and sprains cause localized pain. Rest, ice, compression, physical therapy, and stretching exercises aid in recovery, followed by a gradual return to activity.

3. Sciatica: Compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve leads to lower back and pelvic pain, as well as radiating pain, numbness, tingling, and weakness in the legs. Treatments include physical therapy, stretching exercises, and anti-inflammatory medications for pain relief.


Symptoms of Pelvic Pain

Recognizing the symptoms of pelvic pain is essential for identifying potential underlying causes and seeking appropriate medical evaluation and treatment. Pelvic pain can manifest in various ways:

  • Dull, aching pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic region.
  • Cramping sensations, especially during menstruation.
  • Pain that worsens during bowel movements or urination.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Frequent need to urinate.
  • Bloating or a feeling of fullness in the pelvic area.
  • Pain that radiates to the lower back or thighs.
  • Severe and sudden pelvic pain.
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding.
  • Fainting or lightheadedness.
  • Fever and chills.
  • Persistent and severe pain despite rest and home remedies.

It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional. The goal is to reduce discomfort, improve quality of life, and address underlying medical conditions. You can learn more about Minimally Invasive Procedure Specialists.

Managing and Prevention of Pelvic Pain

Managing and preventing pelvic pain involves a detailed and diverse plan to help individuals experiencing this problem feel better. This process helps them accurately identify what’s behind the pain.

Preventive Measures

  • Practicing Safe Sex: Reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can help prevent pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Maintaining Good Hygiene: Proper hygiene practices in the genital and anal areas can reduce the risk of urinary tract infections.
  • Staying Hydrated: Drinking an adequate amount of water can help prevent constipation, reducing the risk of pelvic pain associated with straining during bowel movements.

Regular Health Check-ups

Regular health check-ups and pelvic examinations can help identify potential issues early on. Experiencing pelvic pain and related symptoms?

For more information on pelvic health and pelvic pain treatment, and what care looks likes at our practice reference the links below:

Reach out to MIPS Center for relief and management. Schedule an appointment at our Highlands Ranch, CO office for expert consultation on pelvic pain treatment options. Call (303) 805-7477 now

Treatment for Pelvic Pain in Denver, CO

Pelvic pain is an extremely common symptom, especially in women. Discomfort within the lower abdomen and pelvic region could be a result of an abnormality or illness relating to a variety of key bodily systems and functions. Most often, this type of pain is typically related to the reproductive system, digestive, urinary system, or the musculoskeletal system.

What Activities May Worsen Pelvic Pain?

Generally, pelvic pain is described to either be a dull yet constant pain, or a sudden, sharp pain. If the pain is consistently present over a long period of time, it is classified as chronic pelvic pain. If the opposite is true, then the patient is likely to suffer from acute pelvic pain. Most individuals will notice that their pelvic pain becomes more intense as they engage in certain activities. For example, if the source of your pelvic pain is your digestive system, then you may experience more pain after consuming certain foods or drinks. It is also common for pelvic pain to worsen during sexual intercourse or while urinating.Woman sitting on couch with pelvic pain

Potential Causes of Pelvic Pain

Reproductive System

  • Endometriosis
  • Menstrual cramping
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Adenomyosis
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Mittelschmerz
  • Ovarian disorders such as the presence of potentially cancerous cysts
  • Vulvodynia
  • Pelvic congestion syndrome

Urinary System

Another likely source to pelvic pain, a person’s urinary system can encounter several different conditions or abnormalities, such as:

  • Urinary tract infection
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Kidney stones

Musculoskeletal System

It is also possible for pelvic pain to be a result of a deformity or injury to muscles, tendons, or ligaments located around the pelvis. This can often be a result of situations like:

  • Levator syndrome (recurring spasms of the levator ani muscle)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Loss of control or strength in the pelvic floor muscles

Schedule Your Pelvic Pain Consultation at MIPS Center Today

Although any general discomfort of the pelvis can be described as pelvic pain, it is especially important to seek treatment from MIPS Center if your pain begins to worsen or become severe. Please call (303) 805-7477 today to schedule an appointment!

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