Why Women Experience Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

If you experience varicose veins during pregnancy but have no known history of venous disease then it can seem like the problem just came out of nowhere. However, due to the increased blood volume and hormonal changes during pregnancy, varicose veins can be a common occurrence for many women.

Contributing Factors

Aside from the increased production of blood previously mentioned, there are two other factors that contribute to the formation of varicose veins, including higher levels of progesterone and the enlargement of the uterus.

The increase of progesterone levels relaxes blood vessel walls, while an enlarged uterus can obstruct blood flow from the legs. In turn, this causes a partial obstruction for blood flowing up from the legs on its way back towards the heart.

The hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause what is called mechanical incompetance of valves and lead to visible signs or symptoms of varicose veins.

Can Varicose Veins be Prevented?

There are no preventative measures that are guaranteed to stop varicose veins from forming during pregnancy. However, consult your physician or a qualified vein specialist in Florida if you want to try one of these methods to slow down the progression of the disease:

  • When you are sitting down, try elevating your legs to keep blood circulating without obstruction.
  • Throughout your pregnancy continue to exercise in any capacity that you can without causing discomfort for you or the baby, even just going for a short walk regularly can help in certain cases.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects or straining yourself because that can put pressure on veins.
  • Wear support hose or compression stockings regularly.

As long as there is not any permanent damage to valves, venous diseases should improve within six months postpartum. However, if you are still experiencing signs or symptoms of varicose veins after six months, you may want to consult a specialist to discuss treatment options.

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