Varicose Veins in Pregnancy: What’s Happening and What to Do?

Pregnancy and VV2Pregnancy and childbirth are one of the most natural things in a woman’s life. It might not be the most pleasant experience for some of us, but becoming a mom and being able to watch your children grow, form their characters and see the reflection of yourself in your offspring is worth all potential trouble and inconvenience.

Varicose veins are more related to motherhood than most people might think. There are various risk factors for developing them, but pregnancy is a huge accelerating element in the formation of varicose veins. They often form during pregnancy, or if a woman already had them before becoming pregnant, the condition gets worse. A woman’s body is going through many changes during pregnancy and all these result, more often than not, in varicose veins:

  • Pregnancy and VVHigh blood volume in the body

During pregnancy, the blood volume in the body increases. Your veins enlarge and that prevents the vein valves from working properly. After some time, this leads to chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins.

  • Growing uterus putting pressure on the veins

As your baby grows in the uterus, it starts putting constant pressure on your pelvic blood vessels and the inferior vena cava – the body’s big vein. Obviously, the situation gets much worse as the pregnancy progresses, all of which results in poor blood circulation and subsequent varicose veins.

  • High levels of progesterone

Progesterone is a hormone in human body, involved in many processes including pregnancy. The levels of this hormone naturally increase during pregnancy which causes the veins to dilate and the blood to pool, contributing to the formation of varicose veins.

Pregnancy and VV3What Can I Do?

Going through pregnancy doesn’t mean that you will automatically end up with legs full of bluish bulging veins, but if you have a genetic predisposition to varicose veins, chances are your future little bundle of joy might become the trigger. If this happens, there is not much you can do due to limitations on medication you can take and procedures you can undergo while pregnant. There are still a few tips that can release the pain or reduce the bothersome symptoms of varicose veins:

Sleeping on your left side – the big vein in the pelvic area is located on your right side, sleeping on the left will alleviate the pressure on the vein and allow blood to return back on your right side.

Elevating legs – gravity is unbeatable, but you can help your blood circulation by putting your legs above your heart as much as possible, at least 15 minutes at a time.

Regular moderate exercise – this will certainly help to increase blood circulation, which is vital for varicose vein prevention.

Reasonable gain weight – nobody wants you to watch the scale all the time, but your veins will thank you for a healthy balanced diet. Too much weight gain in pregnancy can be part of your varicose vein formation.

Wearing compression stockings – this ‘not so sexy’ special hosiery will help reduce the swelling in your calves and the feeling of heavy legs.

Pregnancy and VV4Giving birth to a child is always something to be proud of. You carry your son or daughter in your own body for several months, and you protect them since they first see the light of this world. Unfortunately, it might also take a heavy toll on your veins. So make sure you do everything you can to stay as healthy as possible for your children and yourselves!

Published on: 22 April 2015
Posted by: Veins