Chronic pain in her mid-section made it impossible for Madam Siti Haiza to sit or stand for long periods of time, let alone play with her three kids. She took painkillers daily and would even wake up cold and shivering because of the pain. Yet, the GP doctor she consulted in 2020 could find nothing wrong and suggested she was imagining things.
Luckily, her gynaecologist was more understanding. Further investigations revealed that Madam Haiza had pelvic venous disorder (PVD), similar to having varicose veins in the pelvis.
She no longer needs daily painkillers. She still feels discomfort on occasion but has gone back to doing low-impact exercises and dancing and playing with her three children. “I don’t blame the GP, my condition was something new,” says the full-time homemaker. “But the part where he thought I was overthinking and imagining the pain was quite hurtful.”
Her experience is not rare. Other women have suffered chronic, severe pain in the pelvis, and as scans show nothing significant, their concerns are dismissed. But studies in Britain and the United States have found that PVD, also known as pelvic congestion syndrome or PCS, accounts for up to 30 per cent of patients with pelvic pain. There is no local data for Singapore.