The effect of a subsequent pregnancy after transjugular coil embolisation for pelvic vein reflux

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Pelvic venous reflux has been proven to contribute to the development of primary and recurrent varicose veins, vulval/labial varicose veins and pelvic congestion syndrome. It is associated with lower limb varicose veins in 20% of patients who have a history of at least one prior vaginal delivery. Pelvic vein embolisation is known to be a safe and effective treatment for the abolition of pelvic venous reflux. However, the effect of a subsequent pregnancy on a previously embolised patient remains largely unknown. This study aims to report the effect of pregnancy on patients that have undergone pelvic vein embolisation.


Patients that had previously undergone pelvic vein embolisation for pelvic venous reflux at our unit were sent a questionnaire asking if they had had a pregnancy and subsequently delivered post-embolisation. Patients responding positively were invited to attend our unit for transvaginal duplex ultrasonography of their pelvic veins. Post-pregnancy transvaginal duplex ultrasonography results were compared to pre-embolisation and 6-week post-embolisation scans.


Eight women, aged 32–48 years (mean 38.8), were retrospectively analysed. Parity prior to embolisation ranged from 1 to 5 (mean 2.8).

Initial outcomes at 6 weeks

Pelvic venous reflux was completely eliminated in five patients, two patients achieved complete elimination of truncal reflux with very minor vulval reflux and one patient had persistent, mild reflux in the right internal iliac vein.

Post-pregnancy outcomes

Pelvic venous reflux was completely eliminated in three patients and five patients displayed pelvic venous reflux in at least one truncal vein, with or without concurrent vulval reflux. No patient showed any coil displacement or embolisation as a result of the pregnancy.


Pregnancy is associated with recurrent reflux in the pelvic veins in women who had previously been treated with coil embolisation. Following recovery from pregnancy, repeat embolisation can eliminate recurrent reflux. Pregnancy appears to be safe following coil embolisation of pelvic veins.

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