Many females develop varicose veins during pregnancy. It can be very uncomfortable and may make the female’s legs feel heavy, achy and itchy. The skin around the varicose vein may also become itchy, throbbing, or have a burning sensation. The symptoms of varicose veins tend to get worse towards the end of the day, especially if the female has been on her feet for a long time.
What causes varicose veins during pregnancy?
As the uterus grows, it puts pressure on the inferior vena cava, the large vein on the right side of the body, which increases pressure in your leg veins.
Veins are the blood vessels responsible for returning blood from various parts of the body to the heart. The blood in the veins of the legs works against gravity. And when a female is pregnant, the amount of blood in her body increases, adding to the strain on the veins.
A female is more likely to get varicose veins in her pregnancy if other members of her family have had them. They are more common in females than in males. If a female has them, the varicose veins tend to get worse with time and the risk of getting them again in the successive pregnancies or aging increases. Obesity, carrying twins or other multiples, and a schedule of standing for long hours can also make one more likely to get them. (Also Read: Can Birth Control Pills Cause Varicose Veins? )
How can I prevent varicose veins in pregnancy?
You may be able to prevent or minimize the severity of varicose veins in your pregnancy if you do the following-
- Exercise every day. Going for just a brisk walk can improve blood circulation and prevent varicose veins. (Also Read: Yoga Poses for Varicose Veins )
- Maintain your weight. The female’s body already puts a lot of extra weight during pregnancy. So, to minimize the risk of varicose veins, it is suggested to maintain the ideal weight suggested for your pregnancy stage.
- Elevate the feet and legs to the level of the heart (or you can even go higher) whenever you get time and place to stretch. Resting your legs on a tall stool or box while sitting, or elevating your feet and legs with pillows while lying down or sleeping can help prevent varicose veins and also give relief from the condition if you already have them.
- Avoid sitting with your legs or ankles crossed.
- Avoid sitting or standing continuously for long periods. Take frequent breaks or move around to prevent strain on the legs.
Are varicose veins in pregnancy serious?
Varicose veins are painful, can itch or may cause a burning sensation and are very unsightly. In most cases, they generally go back a few months after the female’s delivery. But, in some cases, the woman may need a surgical approach. However, usually, the treatment can be postponed until childbirth.
However, a small percentage of females who have varicose veins also develop superficial venous thrombosis, which are the small blood clots near the skin’s surface. When superficial venous thrombosis develops, the female may feel her vein extremely hard and rope-like, and the skin around the varicose vein may turn red, hot, tender, and painful. (Also Read: How to deal with Varicose Veins during Pregnancy? )
Do I need to visit a doctor?
Call your doctor if you think your varicose veins get more painful or if you notice small blood clots (which can be superficial venous thrombosis) because it can be pretty serious. In some cases, the skin surrounding the clot gets infected. If that is the case, the female may then have a fever or chills and is suggested to visit a doctor at the earliest.
Visit your doctor right away on developing the following symptoms-
- One or both legs become severely swollen.
- You notice sores on one or both legs.
- The skin near the varicose veins changes color.
Treatment for Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
Varicose veins may seem just a cosmetic issue. But, it does not mean you should avoid it and not consult your doctor. Especially if varicose veins are causing a lot of pain or discomfort, better visit a doctor to get free from the pain.
It is common for varicose veins to become acutely inflamed and cause severe pain and blood clots. Rarely, failure of the veins to properly return the blood back to the heart (known as venous insufficiency), can cause skin breakdown.
But if the discomfort is not severe, doctors suggest females undergo treatment after delivering the baby. With the laser surgery for varicose veins, you would not have any pain, cuts/stitches or blood loss. The recovery period after laser surgery is minimal and the female can continue her daily routine life, including taking care of her newborn right after the treatment. Drop your number for a callback and get rid of varicose veins permanently, without any pain or hassles.