The use of iliac vein stenting for the treatment of pelvic pain secondary to pelvic venous insufficiency has significantly increased. In women of childbearing age, the effect of the gravid uterus on stent function and patency is unclear. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of pregnancy on stent patency and reintervention rate in women with iliac vein stents.


A retrospective chart review and email survey was performed to identify women treated at the Center for Vascular Medicine who were treated with iliac vein stenting and who had subsequent pregnancies. Medical and surgical comorbidities, stent type, location, length, number of stents, reintervention rates, number of pregnancies after stenting, anticoagulation usage during pregnancy, and type of delivery were assessed.


From January 2014 to December 2020, 15 women with 16 iliac vein stents and who had 17 subsequent pregnancies were identified. The average age at stenting was 35.3 ± 4.13 years. The average interval between stenting and conception was 350 ± 287 days. Before pregnancy, stent location was in the right common/right external iliac veins in 1 patient and left common/external iliac veins in 14 patients. The average stent diameter and length were 19.6 ± 3 and 79.5 ± 20.3 mm, respectively. Thirteen Boston Scientific Wallstents and three Bard Venovo stents were used before pregnancy. One patient with a Wallstent required a stent extension before pregnancy and one patient had two stents placed at the initial procedure. Two women were pregnant twice after stenting for a total of 17 pregnancies. There were 16 term and 1 premature delivery of single infants. Patients were treated with enoxaparin (Lovenox) for stent-related thrombosis prophylaxis in 11 of 17 pregnancies, 5 had no prophylaxis, and the status of 1 pregnancy is unknown. One asymptomatic patient underwent a stent venoplasty after delivery.


Iliac vein stents tolerate a gravid uterus well. No stents thrombosed during or after pregnancy and none required reintervention secondary to pregnancy-related compression. Anticoagulation with low-molecular-weight heparin should be considered for stent thrombosis prophylaxis. Potential pregnancy should not be considered a contraindication to iliac vein stenting for the treatment of symptomatic pelvic venous insufficiency.