The ovarian vein is also known as the female gonadal vein and acts as the female equivalent of the male's testicular vein. It is located in the ovary and comes in pairs.
One of the veins is the right ovarian vein. It starts from the pampiniform plexus (a network of veins) at the hilum of the ovary (a depression where vessels and nerves connect to the ovary) and opens into the inferior vena cava. While the right vein passes through the suspensory ligament of the ovary and joins with the inferior vena cava, the left joins with the left renal vein.
The main function of this paired vein is to provide blood supply to each ovary. Pathological studies show that right ovarian vein syndrome can occur during pregnancy, with patients experiencing right lumbar pains and kidney colic (a type of pain). It is caused by a congenital malposition, a problematic positioning present from birth, where the right ureter is pressed on the external iliac artery. The diagnosis is made using:
- Intravenous urography: a test where x-rays are used to view dye injected into veins of the area.
- Retrograde ureteral pyelography: a test where x-rays are used to view dye injected into the ureter, the tube through which urine moves from the kidneys to the bladder.
Present treatment to overcome pain is through analgesics (pain relievers) and it may be necessary to use a double-J catheter, a kind of support tube placed into the body.