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Preventing Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

by Jane Meggitt

Varicose veins generally affect older people – with one big exception. Pregnant women often develop these unsightly veins during gestation. Fortunately, there are some preventive measures pregnant women can take to minimize varicose vein formation.

Varicose Veins and Pregnancy

Why do pregnant women tend to develop varicose veins? The reasons are threefold. Women experience a rush of hormones when pregnant, which can cause weakening vein walls. Along with weakened walls, more blood circulates throughout her body, because her fetus needs nourishment. As the fetus grows larger and the woman’s uterus puts pressure on abdominal veins, making it more difficult for veins in the legs to circulate blood towards the heart. The blood in the legs starts pooling, and the result is enlarged, varicose veins in the ankles and lower legs.

Varicose Vein Prevention

Once you’ve finished celebrating the good news of your pregnancy, there’s more to consider than a name for baby and nursery décor. Think about wearing compression stockings for varicose vein prevention. Today’s compression hose is attractive and stylish, so no one need know you’re wearing therapeutic stockings. Avoid sitting or standing in place for too long, and walk regularly. Your obstetrician can give you additional exercise to strengthen leg muscles and help prevent varicose vein formation. At home, put your feet up while watching TV, reading or relaxing.

Post-Pregnancy

Even if a woman develops varicose veins during pregnancy, the veins are likely to return to normal within a few months. That’s usually true of the first pregnancy, but not necessarily subsequent pregnancies and additional stress on the veins. In later pregnancies, those unsightly veins may remain. That doesn’t mean a woman must avoid leg-baring dresses and shorts for the rest of her life. In some circumstances, varicose veins are more than a cosmetic issue – they can predispose a woman to blood clots. Various minimally invasive treatments can banish those awful looking varicose veins.

Vein Treatments

Sclerotherapy and laser therapy are two common varicose vein treatments. With sclerotherapy, a solution consisting is injected into the varicose veins. This solution eventually causes them to collapse and eventually disappear. Laser surgery works via light bursts sent into the varicose veins. With either treatment, varicose veins should disappear within two months. Patients may require several treatments to get rid of varicose veins, but in any case there is little downtime. Get your varicose veins treated in the spring and show your leg off again come summer.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about vein treatment, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!

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