Pregnancy and Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are caused by faulty valves in the veins or weak vein walls, which are common during pregnancy and in women with a family history of this vein problem. Dr. Lornell E. Hansen provides answers to questions that many new and expecting moms may have to relieve varicose vein discomfort.

Q: What causes varicose veins during pregnancy?
 Many women first develop varicose veins – or find that they get worse – during pregnancy. As your uterus expands, pressure on your legs increase, which can then accelerate the formation of varicose veins.

Q: What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
A: Symptoms of varicose veins include leg aching, heaviness, muscle cramping, ankle or leg swelling, itching and burning, and skin discoloration. As these veins progress, some females will develop twisted, bulging veins along the thighs and lower legs. Varicose veins also become worse with age, weight gain and each subsequent pregnancy.

Q: How can I prevent varicose veins during pregnancy?
A: If you or other members of your family have had varicose veins, use preventive measures that are safe during pregnancy. I would advise you to wear compression hose, exercise regularly to improve leg strength and circulation of your veins and avoid prolonged standing or sitting.

Q: What problems can occur if varicose veins are left untreated?
A: I would not recommend treatment during pregnancy, but if you have varicose veins and plan to have more children, you do not have to wait until your last pregnancy for proper treatment. Treatment can be done between pregnancies to relieve discomfort and if your varicose veins do not go away after the baby has arrived, you can then decide to have them medically treated or removed depending on severity. While varicose veins are unlikely to put you or your baby at risk, it’s beneficial to know what to expect beforehand.

Learn more about medical and cosmetic treatment options for this type of vein disorder by calling 1-855-691-6346 and scheduling your free screening.

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