How To Treat Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Exercise When You Can

Varicose Veins during pregnancy – what should I do?

Exercise promotes circulation throughout your body, including your legs and whats good for circulation also helps combat varicose veins. If thats not enough inspiration to hit the gym, pavement or pool, remember that exercise during pregnancy boasts a plethora of benefits for both you and your baby, including easing other pregnancy symptoms like fatigue, constipation, insomnia and back pain.

Are Varicose Veins Still Persisting You Even After Your Pregnancy

If you are suffering from vein issues even after pregnancy, Dr. Umerani and his specialized staff will guide you through about suitable treatments recommended for you.

Comprehensive Vein Care, situated in Springfield, Ohio, has a specialized team that will address your specific needs and will relieve your venous discomforts.

Sleep On Your Left Side

After the first trimester, doctors recommend that you try to avoid sleeping on your back, since the extra weight from your growing baby compresses the vein that carries blood from your lower extremities back to your heart. Instead, sleep on your left side, the optimal position to promote blood flow throughout your body .

Cant stand side-snoozing? Prop a pillow between your legs and another behind your back. You might even want to invest in a body-length pregnancy pillow, which can double as a breastfeeding pillow after your babys born.

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Varicose Veins In Pregnancy: Why You Get Them

When youre pregnant you have more blood circulating around your body, as well as the hormone progesterone. Its progesterone that relaxes your blood vessel walls .

When valves that control blood flow weaken which is common in pregnancy that causes areas of blood to collect in pools. This makes the walls of that vein stretch and sag, and the vein looks lumpy and blue under your skin, AKA a varicose vein .

Youll be more prone to varicose veins if:

  • you have family members who have suffered from them
  • you’re overweight
  • you do a job where you’re on your feet a lot.

Women are more likely than men to get varicose veins anyway, for hormonal reasons . And that means that in pregnancy, when there are a whole load of changes to your hormones, its common for varicosities to develop . A previous pregnancy and increasing age can also make you more likely to get varicose veins .

The most common place to get varicose veins is in your legs but you might also get varicose veins in other parts of your body. This includes in and around your vagina: vulvar varicose veins and around your pelvis, as the womb grows in pregnancy .

Watch Your Weight Gain

Varicose Veins: Get a Postpartum Treatment

The greater number of pounds you put on while pregnant, the more pressure you’re putting on your cardiovascular systemand the higher the risk of developing postpartum varicose veins becomes. “Keep weight gain to no more than 30 pounds,” Dr. Lupo advises. We know, curbing your pregnancy cravings is easier said than done. But try your best to avoid indulging too much.

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What Causes Postpartum Varicose Veins

As we mentioned, think of postpartum varicose veins as bottlenecks in your circulatory system. Theyre caused by improper functioning of your blood vessel valves, which results in blood pooling and subsequently enlarged veins. This makes them appear more prominentand may or may not make them uncomfortable.

This is typically due to the pressure of the baby, or larger midsection/belly, and the subsequent pressure on blood circulation coming from the lower body, Dr. Nazarian shares. As your baby bump grows, it puts pressure on the vein that carries blood from your legs and feet to your heart especially when youre lying flat on your back. While both pressure from increased blood volume and baby weight are major contributors to postpartum varicose veins, there may also be another culprit that can exacerbate them.

Just as a surge in pregnancy hormones can bring on hormonal acne and the fog of pregnancy brain, it can also lead to varicose veins. This is because increased progesterone levels can cause your veins to dilate, making the valves within them more susceptible to malfunction. After your baby arrives, as your hormones and body return to more like your pre-pregnant self, the valve function in your veins should right itself by your infants first birthdayor even months sooner.

Can I Prevent Varicose Veins In Pregnancy

Together, weight gain and the increased blood volume adds additional pressure on the veins. Since you cant control weight gain due to pregnancy, there are a few steps you can take to minimize their impact on your veins.

Some preventative measures include:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine to improve your blood circulation
  • Dont wear high heels if possible-wear flats instead
  • Stay off your feet for longer periods when possible: take more frequent breaks at work or while doing housework
  • Wear compression stockings to help move blood out of the legs and back to the heart

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Is It Safe To Treat Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

You have blue or purple bulging veins on your legsand youre pregnant. Are you wondering what should you do? If these unsightly veins are causing major discomfort during your pregnancy, you should speak with a physician who can discuss the options for managing your varicose veins during pregnancy and treatment options.

Getting The Help You Need

Tips For Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Theres no need to struggle with unsightly, painful varicose veins. If your veins have not returned to normal after pregnancy, contact Texas Vein & Cosmetic Specialists. Dr. Bardwil will be happy to provide a consultation on your situation and guidance on how to get the smooth, healthy legs you deserve.


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Safe Treatment Options After Pregnancy

Although self-care and compression stockings may work for some people and varicose veins developed during pregnancy often resolve on their own after giving birth, some patients will require treatment. In these cases, we offer treatments for venous disease that are non-surgical and performed right in our practice without ever having to set foot in an operating room.

Endovenous thermal ablation was the first endovenous minimally invasive alternative to vein stripping. It is the most common method used to treat saphenous reflux at this time. The procedure uses thermal radiofrequency energy to close or collapse the unhealthy saphenous vein reflux. It is performed in an office setting under local anesthesia with ultrasound guidance.

VenaSeal is our newest FDA approved treatment for varicose veins that doesnt require surgery or heat to treat the affected veins. A small IV catheter is inserted into the unhealthy saphenous vein. Through the catheter, a surgical adhesive is injected to seal the affected vein shut. Patients are able to walk out with just a regular bandaid. Its that simple and minimally invasive.

Ambulatory phlebectomy is used to treat large bulging varicose veins on your legs. It is an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia to numb the area, allowing the problem veins to be removed through micro-incisions in the skin that do not require stitches and heal with minimal scarring.

When To Get Medical Help

You should contact your GP or midwife immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • a red, swollen, hot or tender calf – these could be signs of deep vein thrombosis
  • swollen legs and a headache, blurred vision or pain in your upper stomach – these could be signs of pre-eclampsia

If you have varicose veins you may notice:

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Should I Call My Doctor Or Nurse If I Have Varicose Veins Or Spider Veins

Maybe. If you think you have varicose veins or spider veins and they cause you pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor or nurse. Varicose veins and spider veins usually do not cause symptoms. But, you may want to remove or close varicose veins or spider veins if you have symptoms or if you don’t like the way they look.

Talk to your doctor or nurse if varicose veins or spider veins cause you pain or if:1,8

  • The vein has become swollen, red, or very tender or warm to the touch, which can be a sign of a blood clot
  • You have sores or a rash on your leg or near your ankle
  • The skin on your ankle or calf changes color
  • One of the varicose veins begins to bleed
  • Your symptoms keep you from doing daily activities

Watch Your Pregnancy Weight Gain

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Gaining too much weight during pregnancy puts extra pressure on your already-taxed circulatory system, so try to stick to the recommended amount of pregnancy weight gain. That means monitoring your calories , loading up on unprocessed, whole foods, and regularly weighing yourself. If youre having trouble keeping your weight gain on track, talk to your doctor.

From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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How The Intervention Might Work

Treatments for varicose veins are usually divided into three main groups: surgery, pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments. Treatments of leg oedema comprise mostly of symptom reduction rather than cure and use pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches. Historically, surgery, for treatment of varicose veins, has been the most widely recommended treatment option. Surgery may reduce the risk of complications of varicose veins . Some pharmacological treatments work through increasing venous tone and preventing oedema . Nonpharmacological interventions including include avoidance of prolonged standing and straining, external compression devices and leg elevation can provide relief from discomfort and may improve symptoms in some women. However, evidence to support these therapies is lacking .

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Varicose Veins In Pregnancy

Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins. They are usually found in your legs and feet. They are often blue or purple and twisty in appearance.

During pregnancy you can also get varicose veins in your vulva. Your vulva is the part of your genitals on the outside. It includes the opening of your vagina, your labia and your clitoris.

Varicose veins can be uncomfortable but they are not dangerous for you or your baby.

It is a good idea to mention your varicose veins to your GP, midwife or obstetrician when you see them.

Are They Painful And Do They Cause Any Other Health Problems

What You Can Do About Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Varicose veins can cause fairly bad aches and pains in your legs. Your legs might feel heavy or restless, and they might throb, burn or cramp. Some women find varicose veins give them no problems, but that’s not common.

You’ll probably find that any symptoms you have are worse later in the day since you’ve been standing for longer. By the next morning, you’ll usually feel better because you’ve been lying down and the pressure on your veins has eased.

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Proactive Approach Reduces Pain And Appearance Of Varicose Veins

You may not be able to prevent pregnancy veins on legs, but you certainly can keep the vein issue from worsening. In fact, the following tips help reduce pain and minimize the appearance of varicose veins. You may want to take note so that youre able to address the issue before it becomes too painful for you to stand.

Here are some things you can do to help your feet and legs:

Move around as much as you can. Dont cross your legs while you sit. Elevate your feet when you do sit.

How Vulvar Varicosities Develop

Varicose veins on the vulva develop much as they do on the legs and feet. They occur when excess blood meant to nourish the growing fetus overwhelms the one-way valves in the veins, hindering their ability to send blood back to the heart.

At the same time, the amount of blood triples and hormones released during pregnancy relax the vein walls, weakening the walls to the point where they cannot hold the excess blood. Eventually, this pushes the vein outward, causing a visible varicose vein, among other symptoms. Further, the growing fetus puts pressure on the inferior vena cava, a major vein in the pelvis.

In some cases, vulvar varicose veins may be visible. Other symptoms include vulva soreness a feeling of heaviness or pressure in the vulva or a pain that worsens after standing for hours, exercise, or sexual intercourse.

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Varicose Veins During Pregnancy How To Treat

For many pregnant women, varicose veins during pregnancy are nothing more than a nuisance. Others, however, complain of itchiness, irritability, and severe pain.

If youre concerned about varicose veins, its important that you truly understand what they are, the things that make them worse in appearance, and how to treat these veins so you feel comfortable in your own skin once again.

This list tells you all you need to know about varicose veins during pregnancy.

What Are The Symptoms Of Varicose Veins And Spider Veins

Varicose Veins During Pregnancy: How To Deal With The Pain

Some women do not have any symptoms with varicose veins and spider veins. If you do have symptoms, your legs may feel extremely tired, heavy, or achy. Your symptoms may get worse after sitting or standing for long periods of time. Your symptoms may get better after resting and putting your legs up.3

Other symptoms that may be more common with varicose veins include:

  • Throbbing or cramping
  • Swelling
  • Itching

Changing hormone levels may affect your symptoms. Because of this, you may notice more symptoms during certain times in your menstrual cycle or during pregnancy or menopause.

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Why Do Pregnant Women Get Varicose Veins

Some women may start to develop varicose veins during their pregnancy. They can get worse by having multiple pregnancies or even carrying multiples.

During pregnancy, the amount of blood in a womans body increases, adding extra pressure to her veins. The extra progesterone production can cause the walls of the blood vessels to relax. Weight gain, together with the increasing pressure on leg veins from the growing uterus can worsen the cases.

Once the baby is born, the varicose vein signs will mostly go away.

Following Are The Ways Which Are Recommended To Use Essential Oils:

  • A compress can be created by soaking a piece of cloth in a mixture of one-litre water and five drops of essential oils. This compress should be applied on the affected area for 15 minutes while the legs should be kept in upright position.
  • The blend of essential oil and water should be added in the lukewarm water for bathing.
  • For getting relief from pain instantly, inhale the oils from the bottle or apply the blend of oils to the handkerchief and inhale.
  • Witch Hazels for Varicose Veins in Pregnancy:

    It aids at the strengthening of the blood vessels. It is applied as an astringent lotion but it also contains Gallic acid and essential oils which help in getting rid of the pain and swelling.

    Acupuncture for Varicose Veins in Pregnancy:

    Acupuncture is useful for enhancing the circulation of blood in the body. This technique allows the blood to flow through the veins and into the surrounding regions. The energy supply is enhanced by this method.

    Apple Cider Vinegar for Varicose Veins in Pregnancy:

    The use of Apple cider vinegar has proven to be very beneficial in improving the blood flow in the body of an organism. It can also help in getting relief from the sensation of heaviness in the legs, cramps, pain, swelling and itching. Hence it is a good measure to get instant relief caused by the varicose veins.

    The sterile gauze can be used which should be moistened by apple cider vinegar and then applied on the affected area.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Varicose Veins

    Some women do not have any symptoms with varicose veins. If you do have symptoms, your legs may feel extremely tired, heavy, or achy. Other symptoms that may be more common with varicose veins include throbbing, swelling, and itching. Your symptoms may get worse after sitting or standing for long periods. Your symptoms may get better after resting and putting your legs up.

    Factors Influencing Varicose Veins In Pregnancy

    Varicose Veins during pregnancy explained
    • Elevated pressure: Increased blood volume early in pregnancy, followed by fetal growth and weight gain, increase womens intra-abdominal pressure and central venous return, with the potential for the elevated pressure to lead to valve failure and development of varices .
    • Hormones: Hormonal fluctuations in early pregnancy strongly influence the development of varicose veins .

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    Description Of The Intervention

    Treatments for varicose veins are usually divided into three main groups: surgery, pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments. Treatments for leg oedema comprise mostly of symptom reduction rather than cure and use pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches.

    Pharmacological treatments

    Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to treat the affected veins. The veins are injected with liquid sclerosing drugs , which make them shrink immediately and then dissolve over a period of weeks as the body naturally absorbs the treated vein. Because the solution is injected directly into the vein, there is thought to be little or no damage to the surrounding skin. A compression bandage has to be worn for between three and six weeks after treatment. Often several injections are needed.

    Phlebotonics are a class of medications used to treat venous insufficiency, known as venoactive drugs. Their action is not well established however, they are associated with increasing venous tone and preventing oedema. They include rutosides, hidrosmine, diosmine, calcium dobesilate, chromocarbe, centella asiatica, disodium flavodate, french maritime pine bark extract, grape seed extract and aminaftone.

    Nonpharmacological treatments

    Compression stockings
    Water immersion
    Foot massage

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