Pregnancy and Varicose Veins
It is a fact. Pregnancy does increase the incidence and appearance of varicose veins and of dilated thread and spider veins also.
During pregnancy blood volume increases and this leads to all the vessels of the body handling more volume than they usually do i.e. they bulge a bit.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy affects fibrous tissue -the glue tissue that holds all our body parts together- During pregnancy fibrous tissue becomes more lax and this prepares the pelvis to be ready for the large baby head to exit. At the same time, this laxity affects the walls and the valves inside the vessels. Once the valves start leaking blood in the wrong direction, a varicose vein is getting ready.
Baby pressure on veins leads to higher pressure on venous valves and eventually might cause them to start leaking.
Estrogen has a direct effect in increasing the appearance of spider and thread veins. During pregnancy female hormones run through peaks and surges that might be responsible for appearance of these vessels.
Management of Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
What to do?
You should see a your physician
- If the case requires, an ultrasound will be in order to assess the condition.
- If ultrasound shows significant venous leak from your valves -causing blood to go downwards towards your feet instead of upwards- most probably you will need some form of endoclosure treatment after you deliver.
- If your condition is limited, the leaking valves will stop leaking after delivery and you can consider yourself lucky... But more pregnancy means more leak and eventually this becomes an established varicose veins that will not go alone.
- Until you deliver, your doctor will most probably prescribe some form of compression stocking therapy with some instructions to bring venous pressure down.
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