Pregnancy can cause various health concerns and issues, including varicose veins. Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and twisted veins that are usually found on the legs and ankles – they can be a sign of a greater vein health condition.
What Is the Link Between Pregnancy and Varicose Veins?
The link between pregnancy and varicose veins is due to a combination of factors. During pregnancy, your body diverts extra blood flow to the uterus to help nourish the growing baby. This increase in blood flow can lead to an increase in pressure in the veins, causing them to swell and become varicose. In addition, your expanding uterus can put extra pressure on the veins located in your pelvis, legs, and feet. Additionally, hormonal changes during pregnancy can also lead to an increase in the development of varicose veins.
Are Varicose Veins During Pregnancy Common?
Varicose veins occur in about 20% of all pregnancies, making them relatively common. This risk increases if you are overweight or have a family history of varicose veins.
Treating Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
If you are experiencing varicose veins during pregnancy, the best thing you can do is take preventive measures. This may include elevating your legs whenever possible, wearing support stockings, and avoiding standing for long periods of time. However, you should always speak with a physician before undergoing any treatment.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend a procedure such as sclerotherapy to reduce the appearance of varicose veins. However, be aware that according to many medical professionals, these treatments are only considered safe when performed after the delivery of a baby.
The Bottom Line
While varicose veins can be an uncomfortable reality for many pregnant women, the good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent and lessen their appearance. Understanding the link between pregnancy and varicose veins can help you take control of your health. It is always important to consult your doctor regarding any symptoms or treatment you may be considering.
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