Pregnancy can bring a lot of changes to a woman’s body and unfortunately for some, varicose veins can be one of them.

What are varicose veins?

About 10 to 20 percent of pregnant women develop varicose veins during or after pregnancy. 

Varicose veins are enlarged veins. They usually affect the lower extremities such as the legs, rectal (hemorrhoids are a type of varicose veins), and vulval area. 

When varicose veins swell above the surface of the skin, they can give the distinctive purplish lumps. Aside from the lumps, varicose veins may also cause pain, itchiness, and heavy sensation on the legs.

Why pregnant women are prone to developing varicose veins?

There are several factors that can cause a pregnant woman to develop varicose veins. These include:

  • Increase in blood volume

An increase in blood volume helps both the mother and the baby during pregnancy. However, this can add more pressure on the blood vessels, especially on the legs, where they have to work harder against gravity.

  • Growing uterus

The growing uterus can put additional pressure on the pelvic blood vessels.

  • Hormonal changes

The extra amount of progesterone during pregnancy can have a vessel-relaxing effect.

How to alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins during pregnancy?

There are things you can do to alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins during pregnancy:

  • Keep moving

Low-impact activities such as walking are great ways to keep your blood pumping. If you have access to a pool, you may want to try water-based activities. Some studies suggest that moving around the water can be helpful.

  • Wear comfortable clothes

Make sure you are wearing clothes that fit well. Avoid those that bind or constrict the upper portion of your legs as they can impede blood circulation.

  • Try wearing support hose

They may not be the most fashionable thing to wear during pregnancy but they can definitely help your varicose veins from getting worse. Just make sure to get those with graduated compression (more compression on the ankles and less as it goes higher).

Will varicose veins go away after giving birth?

Some cases of varicose veins during pregnancy will dissipate after giving birth. But you don’t have to worry if you still have them after having the baby. There are so many non-surgical treatment options for getting rid of varicose veins after pregnancy.

Premier Vein Clinic of Knoxville has the only team of local Vascular Surgeons who are experts in diagnosing issues with veins and arteries. We will assess your varicose veins and recommend the most appropriate treatment option for you. 

To request an appointment, call Premier Vein Clinics today (865) 306-5775.