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Understanding Why Varicose Veins Hurt During Sex

Think your love life lacking lately thanks to varicose veins? In this guide, we'll provide clarity and solutions from real experts in vein care and sexual health. 

You'll learn what truly causes varicose veins to hurt during sex, simple lifestyle tweaks to prevent pain, when medical treatment may help, and how to restore passion despite these venous issues.

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Does Sex Make Varicose Veins Worse?

No, engaging in sexual intimacy does not make varicose veins worse on its own. While sex does not directly worsen varicose vein progression, it can aggravate existing veins in the moment, though.

Here are a few ways that sex could potentially exacerbate existing varicose veins:

  1. Increased Blood Flow - Sexual activity accelerates blood circulation and pressure in the pelvic region and legs. For those with existing varicosities in these areas, the added blood volume and pulsating can temporarily enlarge and inflame the twisted veins, making them more symptomatic. However, sex itself does not worsen the underlying venous reflux disease.

2. Physical Irritation - The friction produced during intercourse could potentially irritate or compress enlarged varicose veins close to the skin's surface, especially in the genital region. In some cases, this irritation could worsen inflammation. But sex alone does not damage the vein walls or valves.

Let our vein experts help you reconnect with sensual satisfaction again. Contact us today!

What Causes Varicose Veins to Hurt During Sex?

Varicose veins hurt during sex primarily due to increased blood flow, friction, and pressure on the veins from sexual activity irritating the weakened valves and walls of enlarged varicose veins.

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome  

Varicose veins around the pelvis, known as Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS), can cause deep aching or dull pain during and after intercourse. The abnormally high venous pressures in 

PCS enlarges pelvic veins and impairs valve function, allowing backward blood flow. This venous insufficiency leads to painful symptoms that worsen with standing or menstruation.

Vulvar Varicosities 

Varicose veins around the vulva and vagina often arise during pregnancy from increased pelvic blood flow. Symptoms may include visible twisted veins, swelling, fullness, and discomfort in the genital region. 

During arousal and sex, irritation and inflammation of these delicate varicosities can cause painful symptoms.

Venous Insufficiency 

 The underlying chronic venous insufficiency associated with varicose veins makes them prone to inflammation and irritation from physical triggers like sex. 

Mild infections may also contribute by increasing problematic blood pooling. Even without PCS or vulvar varicosities specifically, varicose veins aggravated by poor vein valve function can hurt during intimacy.

Does Vulvar Varicose Veins Cause Painful Sex?

Yes, vulvar varicose veins can cause painful sex due to veins around the vulva and vaginal opening becoming irritated and inflamed with the increased blood flow and friction that occurs during intercourse.

Is PCS Treatable?

The good news is that Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is very treatable in most cases. Based on our experience, there are effective medical and procedural interventions that can significantly improve PCS symptoms like chronic pelvic pain and discomfort during sex.

Treatments include:

  1. Hormonal medications like gonadotropin-releasing hormones or progestins reduce pelvic blood flow and inflammation. These provide symptom relief for some PCS patients.
  2. Minimally invasive procedures such as sclerotherapy, embolization of faulty veins, or surgery to shut down or remove dilated pelvic varicose veins causing congestion and pain.

    Studies show these provide substantial symptom resolution in over 68% of women with PCS.

According to medical research shared by the Cleveland Clinic, ovarian vein embolization offers excellent pain relief in 75% or more of PCS cases by blocking blood flow through enlarged ovarian veins.

While there is no singular standard treatment, our experience aligns with studies showing that interventions like embolization and medications provide significant improvement in pain and other PCS symptoms for most patients.

Though some residual pain may persist, the right treatment plan can successfully manage PCS in most cases. Our team specializes in these effective techniques.

Tips to Prevent Varicose Vein Pain During Sex

  • Wear supportive compression stockings or underwear during sex. Compression improves blood flow and takes pressure off veins to reduce discomfort from vulvar varicosities.
  • Change positions frequently and avoid prolonged sitting or standing to prevent blood pooling in the pelvic veins. Take regular movement breaks during sex.
  • Exercise regularly, especially walking, to boost circulation and muscle tone. This can help prevent varicose vein formation.
  • Elevate the hips while lying down using pillows. This uses gravity to improve venous return and reduce blood pooling in pelvic veins.
  • For severe cases, treating the underlying venous insufficiency through procedures like embolization often provides significant varicose vein pain relief.
  • Over-the-counter pain medications can temporarily relieve varicose vein discomfort during sex.
  • Communicate openly with your partner about any varicose vein discomfort so they understand if you need to shift positions or take a break.

Tired of "going through the motions" thanks to varicose veins? We'll customize a varicose vein treatment plan just for you. Schedule a consultation now!

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