For some women, swollen, bulging, or twisting veins are a normal, but uncomfortable part of pregnancy.
Why varicose veins are common during pregnancy?
There are three main reasons why varicose veins can happen during pregnancy:
- You produce more blood than usual to help support your baby’s growth and development.
- Your growing uterus puts pressure and partially blocks the veins that are returning blood from your legs to the heart.
- Your pregnancy hormones make the walls of your veins softer. This makes it harder for the veins to work properly especially with the increase in blood volume.
What are the signs and symptoms of varicose veins?
People with varicose veins usually have the same signs and symptoms, regardless if they’re pregnant or not. These include:
- large veins that you can see just under the surface of the skin
- mild swelling of the feet and the ankles
- painful or aching of the legs
- leg cramping
- skin discoloration especially around the varicose veins
How to manage varicose veins during pregnancy?
There are things you can do to manage the symptoms of varicose veins and keep them from getting worse:
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. If you have a job that requires prolonged sitting or standing, make sure to take breaks frequently to move around.
- Elevate your feet often.
- When your doctor says OK, start doing low-impact exercises like walking or swimming.
- Wear maternity support hose. This is a special type of pantyhose that creates gentle compression on your leg muscles, helping push the blood back to the heart.
- Try to sleep on your left side. This is to keep the pressure off the inferior vena cava, which is on the right side of your body.
Will varicose veins go away after pregnancy?
Many cases of varicose veins that develop during pregnancy go away on their own by the time the child reaches 3 or 4 months. However, this can vary. For some women, this can take up to 1 year.
Don’t fret if your varicose veins don’t go away after pregnancy. There are several treatment options for varicose veins. In fact, there are those that you can do without spending a night in the hospital. Premier Surgical Vein Center offers these minimally-invasive varicose vein treatments.
Schedule an appointment and we’ll help you determine the most appropriate vein treatment for you.