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Did you know that pregnancy can make women more susceptible to varicose veins? There are a number of factors that can trigger the development of varicose veins while pregnant. These include:
During pregnancy, the blood volume in your body increases as the pressure from the growing uterus increases. This can place an added strain on the body’s big vein, the inferior vena cava, which puts pressure on the veins in the legs. Returning blood to the heart from the legs is already difficult because of gravity, but as the womb begins to grow and expand it puts pressure on veins in your pelvic area, which can sometimes cause them to become varicose.
During pregnancy, your body’s hormone levels will change. This increased hormone level also causes the muscular walls of the blood vessels to relax, which can increase your risk of developing varicose veins. The increase in progesterone can dilate the veins and cause the blood to pool, and this can cause dilated, sore, swollen, uncomfortable veins.
Supporting a baby puts a strain on your entire body. Not only can it stress your muscles, but it can also stress your veins. As the weight of the baby increases and the uterus enlarges this puts pressure on the abdominal veins which can often prevent the blood from properly flowing. This places pressure on all of the veins in the body.
For many women, the valve function in your veins will return to normal and the varicose veins should fade away after the birth of your child. However, for some, the varicose veins remain. Typically the veins that are still present six months after you have your baby will not go away. Whilst your veins can’t be treated when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, we can successfully treat your veins in between pregnancies and can consult with you about treatment options beforehand.
Here at The Varicose Vein Clinic, we recommend wearing knee-high compression stockings whilst pregnant. This can provide symptomatic relief by providing stability for the veins and alleviating some discomfort.
For those suffering from varicose veins during pregnancy, we recommend visiting our Brisbane or Gold Coast clinic for a consultation. We pride ourselves on providing a comfortable and trusting environment to ensure our pregnant patients are at ease when visiting.