What to Know About Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?


What to Know About Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?
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North Atlanta Vascular Clinic and Vein Center

8/11/2023


Varicose veins are a common occurrence during pregnancy and are caused due to poor blood flow. These are bulges that are formed in the veins due to blood pooling in them and are under the surface of your skin. These blue, red, or purple veins might appear squiggly or ropelike and are more likely to appear on your legs; however, they can also appear on your lower pelvic area, buttocks, or elsewhere during pregnancy.

So understanding the occurrence of varicose veins during pregnancy is important. In this blog, you will learn about varicose veins and pregnancy.

How Does Pregnancy Increase the Risk of Varicose Veins?

According to research, among 352 pregnant women, 256 women have varicose veins, while 96 didn’t have varicose veins. There are three main reasons why you have a better risk of varicose veins in pregnancy. They are as follows:

  • You produce more blood than usual during pregnancy which leads to an increase in the pressure in your veins.
  • Pregnancy hormones soften the walls of your veins, making them more prone to bulging.
  • Your uterus expands as your baby grows, putting pressure on the veins that carry blood from your legs to your heart.

What Are the Real Causes of Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, the blood volume in the body rises by up to 20%, but the number of veins remains constant, resulting in additional work for the vascular system. Increases in progesterone and hormones that relax pelvic ligaments and smooth muscle cells in vein walls make it natural that blood's upward travel becomes more difficult during pregnancy. All of these variables contribute to a vicious cycle in which veins dilate, producing back pressure on valves, which drives veins to expand even more, making the valve less efficient. This further leads to varicose veins in pregnancy.

What Are the Main Symptoms of Varicose Veins?

There are not many symptoms of varicose veins during pregnancy. In case you have this condition, you will find them worsening if you sit or stand for a long period.

Some of the other symptoms of pregnancy varicose veins include:

  • Large, twisted, and raised veins that are blue or purple appear on the legs, especially on the back of your calves, buttocks, or pelvic region.
  • A feeling of heaviness in your legs.
  • Mild swelling in ankles and feet.
  • Pain or throbbing sensation in the lower leg.
  • Leg cramp.

What Are Some Major Factors Associated with Your Risk of Developing Varicose Veins?

There are various factors that influence your chance of developing varicose veins during pregnancy and some of which include:

  • Genetics- You are more likely to develop this condition if your mother or grandmother had this condition.
  • Weight- You will most likely develop varicose veins in pregnancy if you have excessive weight.
  • Diet- Excess salt or a lack of fiber or water might cause you to retain water and raise your risk of varicose veins.

Diagnosis of Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

You are likely to get examined by your doctor in case you show symptoms of varicose veins while pregnant. Your healthcare provider will examine your legs, genitals, and rectal area depending on the symptoms. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may advise you to get a Doppler ultrasound to check blood flow in your surface and deep veins. Varicose veins can raise the risk of a blood clot in a deep vein (deep vein thrombosis). This disorder has the potential to cause catastrophic consequences, such as a pulmonary embolism.

Treatment Options for Varicose Veins

Most of the time, your varicose veins don’t need any treatment as they usually get better. Still, there are a few ways to treat the symptoms and prevent them from getting worse:

  • Don’t sit or stand in a single place for too long so that your blood keeps circulating.
  • Practice exercises regularly that are allowed by your doctor during pregnancy.
  • Don’t eat sodium-rich food as they promote swelling.
  • Use ice packs to reduce swelling.
  • Raise your feet periodically to encourage blood flow back to your heart.
  • To prevent blood from gathering in your legs, wear supportive pantyhose, tights, or socks that are known as compression stockings.

Pregnancy and Varicose Veins: Steps to Preventive Care

You can prevent or at least minimize the effect of varicose veins while pregnant by practicing the following:

  • Don’t sit or stand still for an extended period.
  • Always wear loose-fitting clothes.
  • Don’t sit in a cross-legged position.
  • Sleep on your left side.
  • Stay in the recommended weight range.

Seek Relief from Varicose Veins During Pregnancy with North Atlanta Vascular Clinic

Most of the time, varicose veins are not serious and go away after childbirth. But you should call your doctor immediately if there is bleeding from the vein, open sore on the skin near the veins, and pain or swelling in your legs. At North Atlanta Vascular Clinic, our experienced varicose veins doctors are always ready to provide the best treatment for your varicose veins. We diagnose and treat this condition effectively, providing patients with long-lasting relief. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

 


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North Atlanta Vascular Clinic and Vein Center

North Atlanta Vascular Clinic is a vascular surgery center located in Suwanee, Cumming, Alpharetta, and Lawrenceville, Georgia. Our vein disease specialists offer a comprehensive examination that includes a physical examination, review of your symptoms, and discussion of your medical history. We use advanced venography techniques and provide effective treatment for several health conditions like DVT, Spider Veins, Leg Cramps, MTS, and more. Contact us to get accurate diagnosis and treatment for all your vascular diseases.


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