Varicose veins are a common condition that affects most adults. In most cases, they’re completely harmless, though they can be unsightly for some individuals.
Varicose veins develop predominantly in women. Varicose veins may first present themselves or become worse during pregnancy.
The good news is that varicose veins are likely to either improve or disappear altogether after giving birth, especially if you didn’t have varicose veins before you got pregnant.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are twisted, swollen veins that typically bulge close to the skin’s surface. They are usually blue, red, or purple. They can sometimes look ropelike.
Varicose veins are different from spider veins (smaller counterparts) because they are usually raised against the skin, creating a bumpy and uneven surface.
Most of the time, you will experience little or no discomfort from having varicose veins. In some cases, however, they can make your legs feel itchy, achy, or heavy. Some patients have reported the skin around their varicose veins throbbing or burning, as well.
Causes of Varicose Veins During Your Pregnancy
During pregnancy, your uterus is growing to accommodate your fetus. The growth of your uterus typically puts excess pressure on the inferior vena cava, which is known as a large vein located on the right side of the body.
The pressure on the inferior vena cava can increase pressure in the veins within your legs, which leads to varicose veins.
When you’re pregnant, the amount of blood your body has to circulate increases, adding additional pressure and stress on your veins. Finally, your progesterone levels rise during pregnancy, relaxing the blood vessel walls.
You are more likely to experience an onset of varicose veins during pregnancy if you have other family members that have a history of varicose veins.
If you do get varicose veins during pregnancy, they are likely to worsen with every successful pregnancy. They may also worsen as you age.
Can You Prevent Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?
You cannot prevent varicose veins during pregnancy. There are contributing factors that can worsen the appearance of varicose veins or increase their likelihood. These factors include carrying twins, being overweight, and standing for extended periods while pregnant.
Can You Treat Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?
You should generally wait to treat varicose veins until after your baby is born. Since varicose veins will not harm your health, they’re more or less something to “get through” while you grow a healthy baby.
While pregnant, you can take preventative steps to manage your varicose veins. These include exercising regularly, wearing flat shoes, elevating your legs, monitoring your sodium intake, and supporting your veins.
In many cases, varicose veins may potentially improve and can even completely disappear once you give birth. However, if your varicose veins do not improve after birth, several treatment options are available to you.
To learn more about varicose vein treatment after the birth of your child, contact us Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center to speak to one of our aesthetic experts!