The process of pregnancy is incredible, there’s no doubt about it. Bringing a new life into the world can be a wonderful thing, and future mothers are a paragon of grace and fertile elegance.
If you’re pregnant now, that last claim probably made you roll your eyes and maybe even contributed to your near-constant nausea. Pregnancy does a lot of things to the human body. There’s the aching, the stress, not to mention the heartburn and frequent trips to the bathroom. If you add varicose veins onto that pile, it’s easy to feel like the cards are stacked against you in almost every way.
Why Do Varicose Veins Occur During Pregnancy?
The hormones that help your body carry and eventually deliver a baby are the same that affect your vein walls. It relaxes them, leaving them more likely to be affected by the stress of increased blood flow and the pressure of a growing uterus.
Varicose veins are more likely to appear on either the legs or around the pelvis and, without proper care, they can get worse over time.
So what can you do?
Is Sclerotherapy for Me?
Sclerotherapy is considered a viable treatment for both varicose and spider veins; these two conditions are similar, but varicose veins are swollen and raised while spider veins are much smaller and look a bit like a spiderweb. The process involves a doctor placing an injection in the affected veins, allowing the blood and lymph vessels to shrink. It isn’t a guarantee, but it has proved effective for most patients after about a month of treatment.
But while the research is still limited, experts do not advise sclerotherapy while you’re pregnant. The veins developed during pregnancy sometimes fade on their own, and it’s recommended to wait a while for your body to adjust before seeking cosmetic treatment with a physician.
This, of course, does not mean you can’t safely combat varicose veins. There’s hosiery you can wear to help ease the pressure on your veins, but there’s one word of advice that multiple sources swear by:
That’s right, research shows that regular movement can help with blood flow and prevent varicose veins. Of course, we’re not expecting you to hop on a treadmill or take up Zumba. After talking with your obstetrician, you may enjoy light walks or gentle leg exercises.
If that’s not an option, even just adjusting your position throughout the day does wonders in keeping your blood flowing. You can also take some time to lie back and elevate your legs over your head for a short while. It might look odd, but it improves your blood circulation.
Pregnancy is wonderful. It’s also hard, frustrating, and often painful. There’s a lot you can’t do and a lot you must do. There’s a seemingly never-ending series of terms and conditions from both doctors and books….and a long line of loved ones and strangers who feel weirdly entitled to touch your stomach. With all of this swarming around you, it’s easy to lose track of what’s happening inside of you.
Talk to your obstetrician about small, safe efforts you can make to prevent the growth of varicose veins. You can keep you and your baby safe, keep your blood flowing, and feel better doing it!Still unsure about whether sclerotherapy is for you? Connect with the specialists at the New York Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center and schedule a personal consultation.