Varicose Veins During Pregnancy: What to Expect

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 Veins

In 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.

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