Pregnancy is an exciting time of life as you plan and prepare for that new little bundle to arrive. Unfortunately, those nine months can also be overridden with a host of unpleasant side effects, including nausea, back pain and (yes, indeed!) the appearance of varicose veins.
While many women get lucky and see those swollen vessels disappear after their babies arrive, not all women are so fortunate. The good news is that even if your varicose veins stick around after your baby’s birth, there are effective ways to get rid of them today that do not involve surgery, discomfort or downtime.
The Link between Pregnancy and Varicose Veins
There are a number of reasons why you are at higher risk for developing varicose veins during those nine months:
- Your expanding uterus causes increased pressure on your veins
- Increased blood flow during pregnancy adds to the pressure on the veins
- Blood flow slows somewhat, increasing the risk for damage to the veins of the lower legs
- Hormonal fluctuations tends to weaken vein walls, making them more vulnerable to varicosity
Pregnancy alone is a significant risk factor for varicose veins—and you may be at even higher risk if you have a family history of the disease or a personal history of varicose veins or blood clot disorders. Varicose veins are also more likely if you lead a mostly sedentary lifestyle or spend long periods each day in a sitting or standing position.
Steps to Prevention
Once you know you are pregnant, you can take some steps to lower your risk for developing varicose veins in the coming months:
- Daily walking will work the calf muscles, which helps the lower-leg veins push blood back up to the heart.
- Elevating your legs for a period of time in the evening can also give those hard-working veins a break.
- Your physician may recommend compression stockings, which provide support for the blood flow in the lower legs and reduce the risk for varicose veins and their painful symptoms.
Treatment after Childbirth
If, despite your best efforts, varicose veins appear during pregnancy, do not lose heart. The same methods of prevention can also be used to keep varicose veins from worsening and to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. And for many women , the varicose veins of pregnancy will disappear on their own in the months following the baby’s birth.
If your varicose veins look like they’re going to stick around, you can pursue minimally invasive treatments to eliminate unsightly vessels for good. At Vein Clinics of America, we offer two of the most popular methods for addressing varicose veins:
Sclerotherapy – During sclerotherapy, a solution is injected into varicose veins, causing them to seal off from the other veins in your leg. The vein closes over time and is eventually absorbed into your body.
Endovenous Laser Treatment – With ELT, laser energy is delivered into the diseased vein, causing the vein to seal closed and collapse. The vein is reabsorbed by the body, while blood is rerouted to other vessels.
Varicose veins and pregnancy may be a common combination, but you don’t have to take those swollen vessels lying down. Contact Vein Clinics of America today at 844-423-8346 and find out which vein treatment is the right one for you.