Pregnancy is an exciting time filled with lots of different changes.
One of the not so welcome side effects of pregnancy can be the development of varicose veins. Veins develop at this time for several different reasons:
* Increased Blood volume
* Hormones causing the vein wall to relax
* Pressure on the large abdominal veins (due to the growing baby!)
* Family history of Varicose Veins
All veins have valves inside them. These valves are meant to be one-way valves, opening to allow blood to flow up and then closing to prevent blood flow down again. In pregnancy, due to the reasons outlined above, it is common for the valves in the veins to stop working efficiently. This is called ‘vein incompetence’. Wearing knee high compression stockings whilst pregnant can provide symptomatic relief, make you feel better, but will not prevent you getting varicose veins or stop the veins you have from getting worse.
For many people, after the birth of the baby, the valve function returns to normal and the varicose veins go away. However, often, especially with subsequent pregnancies the valve function does not return to normal and the varicose veins are there to stay!
Generally any veins that are still present six months after you have your baby will not go away. We can now treat varicose veins without surgery. Whilst your veins can’t be treated when you are pregnant or breastfeeding- we can successfully treat your veins in between pregnancies.
There is no hospital admission. No general anaesthetic and you can get back to normal activities the same day.
At the varicose vein clinic we offer a free consultation regarding varicose veins in pregnancy. We can properly fit you for Class 1 below knee stockings ($25) which help to relieve the symptoms of varicose veins in pregnancy. We can have a chat about vein health during pregnancy and discuss treatment options for when you are no longer pregnant.