Vulvar veins are located in the vulva, which comprises the external female genitalia such as the labia major, labia minor and the surrounding area. Vulvar veins occur in approximately 10 percent of pregnant women. During pregnancy, the veins in the pelvis and vulva dilate due to increased levels of progesterone and increased pelvic pressure from the uterus. In most women, the dilated vulvar veins resolve after the pregnancy. However, in some women, the veins persist long term.
Vulvar veins can become uncomfortable with prolonged standing, and can grow larger and more painful during premenstrual and menstrual cycles. They can be associated with pelvic congestion syndrome, or they can be asymptomatic. Evaluation may include testing for venous reflux of pelvic veins and leg veins using color duplex venous ultrasonography, CT scan, or venography. Definitive treatment of dilated vulvar veins can include sclerotherapy of the veins themselves as well as eliminating deeper reflux, if present, in the pelvic and leg veins.