Varicose Veins: Women & Pregnancy

Sorry women but you are more at risk for varicose veins due to hormonal conditions, hormone replacement therapy, birth control and pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant there is 50% more blood circulating which puts more stress on the veins. Also, the size of a woman’s uterus keeps increasing during pregnancy, adding further pressure to the pelvic blood vessels. Some hormones like progesterone produced during pregnancy have the vessel dilation effect. Many times, women feel that they need to wait until they are done having children to have their veins treated. During that time the varicose veins are only getting worse. If you are wondering if you will get varicose veins just look to your parents or grandparents. If they had varicose veins, chances are that you will also.

The job that a woman has can also affect her veins. Occupations in which a person is standing on their feet for long periods of time can add pressure to the veins. Gravity is causing blood to go to the lower legs and stay there. The top 4 professions that can lead to varicose veins are: teachers, medical professionals, restaurant and retail professionals and hair stylists. Taking breaks and moving around and elevating the feet can help the veins not to become worse. If you are starting to have symptoms such as; swelling or throbbing, tenderness around the vein, burning or tingling or itchiness you will want to get your veins checked to see if you need treatment. You don’t have to see the varicose veins to have them. Get treated before they become visible.

Although varicose veins during pregnancy can show up almost anywhere in the lower half of your body, the bulging venous vessels are found primarily in the legs. They swell above the surface of the skin with those distinctive purplish bulges women in Minnesota love to hate.

Pregnant women may develop pain in the pelvic area during sex. The condition causing this pain is known as pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS) or varicose veins in the pelvic area. In PCS, the enlarged veins appear near the uterus, fallopian tubes, vulva and the vagina.

Varicose veins may cause discomfort like itching and aching, and they’re certainly not nice to look at — but the good news is they’re unlikely to pose any major risk. Most varicose veins typically shrink or completely disappear within a few months following birth. However, in the case that a woman becomes pregnant again, these same veins might reappear. Like many other pregnancy symptoms, varicose veins tend to be hereditary.

The best thing for women in Minnesota to do for their varicose veins during pregnancy is keep the blood circulating by exercising and keep the legs elevated when sitting. It is also important not to wear tight clothing to cause added pressure on the veins. Wearing support hose can support veins and improve the symptoms such as heaviness or leg swelling. Keeping weight gain to a minimum during pregnancy and sleeping on your left side to avoid pressure on your main blood vessels will also help. Lastly, getting your daily dose of vitamin C from a balanced diet will keep the veins healthy. If the varicose veins don’t go away after the baby has arrived, there are options to have them medically treated or surgically removed.