Ovarian Vein Incompetence

Why am I having this ultrasound examination?

The ovarian vein scan is a non-invasive method of checking the blood flow in the veins in your pelvis. Your doctor has requested this examination because you may have one or more of the following presentations:

  • pain or heaviness in the pelvis, especially after intercourse (‘pelvic congestion’)
  • varicose veins in the groin or vulval areas, often linking in to further varicose veins in your legs
  • previous treatment (coil embolisation) for ovarian vein incompetence
  • varicocele

What veins will be checked in this examination?

  • Left Renal Vein
  • Right Ovarian Vein
  • Aorta
  • Left Ovarian Vein
  • Inferior Vena Cava
  • Left Common Iliac Vein
  • Left Common Iliac Artery
  • Kidney

What happens during the examination?

Because the veins in your pelvis lie underneath the large intestine (bowel), dietary preparation is usually required for this examination. This helps to reduce gas that forms in the bowel and which can interfere with adequate ultrasound penetration. This preparation will be explained to you in more detail when you are making your appointment and will vary depending on whether or not you have diabetes. You will also be asked to drink 500ml of water one hour before the scan to improve blood flow in the pelvic veins, however there is no need to have a full bladder for this examination.

The ovarian vein incompetence ultrasound is performed with you lying on an examination couch, so you should be quite comfortable. You will be asked to expose your abdomen from just below the sternum, or bra-line, to the groin. It is therefore helpful if you wear ‘separates’ (top and pants or skirt), and no tight underclothing, such as ‘step-ins’. The sonographer will place some gel on your skin, you will feel the firm pressure from the transducer as it runs along the course of the blood vessels, and you will hear the sound of the Doppler from time to time, but there should be no major discomfort. If you do have any questions or concerns, please ask at any time throughout the examination.

How long does the examination take?

Scanning of the pelvic and ovarian veins will usually take no more than half an hour.

When will I get my results?

The sonographer does not usually give you your results at the time of your examination, however your doctor will receive your scan results within 2 days. If you have an appointment already booked with your referring doctor, please advise the sonographer at the time of your scan. Urgent results are always sent back to your doctor within 24 hours.

If you have an appointment to see the doctor at Hunter Vein Clinic, either on the same day or at a later date, your results will be explained to you during your consultation.

Download the Patient Information Brochure