Vulvar varices are dilated superficial veins of the external female genitalia, which are primarily seen during pregnancy and usually resolve spontaneously postpartum.
Vulvar varicosities are seen in up to 4% of pregnant females in the vulvar and perivulvar region, and rarely seen in non-gravid females 2.
Clinically vulvar varices may present as:
- a small lump(s) in the labia majora
- a large mass involving the perivulvar and vulvar areas
They may be confused with cysts or neoplastic lesions, especially in the region of the Bartholin glands.
They are seen in patients with 2:
- chronic pelvic pain syndrome
- ovarian varices
- Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome
- Parkes-Weber syndrome
Treatment and prognosis
Most of the pregnancy-related vulvar and perivulvar varices subside spontaneously and may be managed conservatively. In unresolved cases, treatment options include sclerotherapy, embolization of dilated venous channels and surgical decompression 1,2.
- 1. Kim A, Kim GL, Kim DL, Kim. Vulvar Varicosities: A Review. (2017) Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al.]. doi:10.1097/DSS.0000000000001008 - Pubmed
- 2. Bell D, Bell KP, Bell LS, Bell CC, Bell TC, Bell. Vulvar varices: an uncommon entity in surgical pathology. (2007) International journal of gynecological pathology : official journal of the International Society of Gynecological Pathologists. doi:10.1097/01.pgp.0000215304.62771.19 - Pubmed
- 3. Castenmiller P, Castenmiller dLK, Castenmiller dJT, Castenmiller vdLL, Castenmiller. Clinical results after coil embolization of the ovarian vein in patients with primary and recurrent lower-limb varices with respect to vulval varices. (2013) Phlebology. doi:10.1258/phleb.2012.011117 - Pubmed