Pregnancy can be a remarkable time, a time in which one person brings another person into the world. On the other hand, the changes that take place in a woman’s body over those nine months can be cruel. One of the many changes during pregnancy is varicose veins. Fortunately, mom can enjoy her new child and treat varicose veins.
Why do varicose veins happen during pregnancy?
Pregnancy comes with many changes. To make sure mom and fetus have enough blood, the amount of blood in mom’s body increases by about 50% during pregnancy. Hormone levels, circulating in the blood, rise to increase the diameter of blood vessels. These changes put a tremendous amount of pressure on veins, especially in the legs. Also, as the fetus grows, it puts presses on the veins that bring blood back to the heart from the legs. Altogether, the abnormal pressure in the leg veins gives rise to varicose veins during pregnancy.
How do I avoid pregnancy varicose veins?
There are several steps you can take during pregnancy to minimize your risk of developing pregnancy varicose veins. Since varicose veins form because of increased pressure in the legs, your job is to try to keep the pressure on your leg veins low. You can do this by getting exercise, i.e., keeping your legs moving, elevating your legs at night, and wearing compression stockings. Compression stockings limit the amount of blood that stays in leg veins and helps your body return venous blood to the heart. A sock aid may help with the difficulty of getting compressions socks on and off.
Are my pregnancy varicose veins permanent?
While pregnancy brings changes, many of these changes return to normal after the baby is delivered. Returning to normal is also true for varicose veins. Most women will mostly lose their pregnancy varicose veins within about three months of delivery. Unfortunately, for a few women, pregnancy varicose veins are permanent. Moreover, varicose veins do resolve completely—some women can tolerate the new look, while others cannot. The good news is vein specialists can provide treatment to remove pregnancy-related varicose veins.
How do I treat pregnancy varicose veins?
If your varicose veins have not resolved on their own within 2 to 3 months of delivery, it is time to speak with a vein specialist. A vein specialist can evaluate your varicose veins and develop a plan of action. Many treatments are available for varicose veins from endovenous laser therapy (EVLT) to ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy. Your vein specialist will explain the benefits and risks of each procedure and help you decide which varicose vein treatment is right for you.
If you are concerned about pregnancy varicose veins and want to speak with a vein treatment specialist, contact Northwest Vascular & Vein Specialists today to schedule a consultation.