Varicose veins are unsightly, but many women suffer from them. They are basically veins that are swollen and bulge near your skin’s surface. They are also typically blue or purple in color, and they usually occur on the legs, although it is possible to get them on other parts of the body. Once they appear, they might cause a little bit of discomfort, they might make your legs feel achy or heavy, and the skin may throb, burn, or itch, especially at the end of the day or after you’ve been standing for a long time.
Unfortunately, you could also develop varicose veins during pregnancy. To learn more, including what you can do to treat them, keep reading.
Understand the Cause of Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
While you are pregnant, your body produces extra blood in order to support your growing baby. This additional blood, however, increases the pressure on blood vessels, particularly veins that are in the legs. These particular veins have to work hard against gravity in order to push the blood back up to the heart.During pregnancy, though, they have to work even harder. This is because the growing baby is causing the uterus to expand, and this is putting more pressure on pelvic blood vessels too. Add to that the extra progesterone that your body produces during pregnancy, and the vessel-relaxing effects that it has, and you are susceptible to varicose veins by around 29 weeks.
These veins also seem to be hereditary. You are more likely to get them if your mother developed them during her pregnancy.
How to Prevent Varicose Veins
While pregnant, you can try to prevent, or at least minimize, varicose veins by exercising daily, maintaining the appropriate weight throughout your pregnancy, elevating your legs and feet often, avoiding crossing your ankles or legs when you sit, sleeping on your left side, wearing support hose, and avoiding having to stand or sit for extended periods.
What You Can Do to Treat Your Varicose VeinsIn a majority of cases, women who didn’t have varicose veins prior to becoming pregnant will find that these veins will naturally shrink or even disappear completely a few months after giving birth. However, if you end up having another child, the varicose veins that occur may be the very same ones that you had during the first pregnancy, so you won’t be able to prevent them from happening again and they may not go away naturally.
If you wait it out and your varicose veins don’t go away on their own, though, there is hope. You can visit a vascular doctor and receive a lasertreatment that will help get rid of those unwanted veins in a safe and effective manner. Other treatments for varicose veins include radio frequency occlusion, or what’s known as the Venefit Procedure, sclerotherapy injections, and mini phlebectomy.Even though varicose veins can occur during pregnancy and last for quite some time afterward, the key is to understand ways to prevent them in the first place, as well as treat them safely if they do occur.