Many pregnant women experience varicose veins. Read on to find some common
concerns of pregnant women about varicose veins and tips for dealing with and
preventing varicose veins.
Is it True that Pregnant
Women Develop Varicose Veins?
If you are basically susceptible to varicose
veins, this condition is likely to arise during pregnancy. This is because
of expanded blood volumes, increased pressure on the pelvic veins and the veins
in the leg as well as hormone induced elevation of the muscle tissue in the
Varicose veins are swollen veins which tend to bulge near
the surface of the skin. Normally blue or purple in colour these veins show up
in the legs. However, you can get it in other parts of the body like the vulva
Many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy.
In case of women who may have had varicose veins prior to pregnancy, the
condition may worsen post pregnancy. The growing uterus of a pregnant woman
puts pressure on the large vein on the right side of the body which in turn
increases the pressure in the leg veins. This causes varicose veins to develop.
Veins are the blood vessels which pass on blood from our
extremities to the heart. Hence, the blood in our leg veins is already working
against gravity. During pregnancy the amount of blood in our body increases
which adds to the existing load on the veins.
During pregnancy the chance of getting varicose veins is
greater if you have already had them before. With each successive pregnancy
varicose veins worsen. In case if you are overweight, are carrying multiple
babies, or standing for a very long time while pregnant the chances of your
having varicose veins increases.
What are the Symptoms
of Varicose Veins?
It could range from a mild ache and a sensation of
heaviness to severe pain in the legs. Faint bluish lines may appear or huge veins
start bulging from the ankle to the upper thigh or vulva. The skin appears dry,
irritated and swollen.
Varicose veins normally do not cause any significant
discomfort. Some women experience pain because of the legs becoming heavy while
suffering from this condition. The skin around varicose veins can become itchy
or cause a burning sensation. These symptoms normally worsen at the end of the
day in case of pregnant women who are on their feet for most part of the day.
Varicose veins are usually harmless in the short term
because of which most pregnant
women need not seek any formal treatment for this condition. In certain
rare cases the women with varicose veins may develop small blood clots near the
skin's surface. If this happens the vein may become like a rope and will be
hard to feel. The entire area around the vein can become hot, red and painful.
In such cases if the pain becomes intense it may be worthwhile to consult a
doctor and seek medical advice for reducing pain and discomfort.
How to Minimise the Discomfort caused by Varicose Veins?
Here are a few things you can do to minimise the discomfort
caused by varicose veins.
Regularly- moderate form of brisk walking for
around half an hour each day will ensure proper blood circulation in the entire
Right Body Weight – Consult your doctor and find out
how you can maintain body weight appropriate for the stage of pregnancy you are
body weight, in addition to contributing to a whole lot of related health
issues is also responsible for varicose veins in pregnant women.
Legs Elevated - Keep your legs elevated whenever
possible. While sitting you can make use of a small side table or stool to rest
your legs. Make use of pillows while lying down to keep your legs in an
on the Left Side - By sleeping on the left side you
will be able to relieve the vein of the weight of the uterus thereby reducing
the pressure on the veins in your feet and legs.
Stockings - Wear stockings which are tight at the
ankles and get looser as they go up the leg. This will enable blood to flow
back up towards the heart easily. It will also prevent excessive swelling of
the feet keep and varicose veins from getting worse.
How do I Prevent Varicose
It is simple, just take the pressure off
your legs. You must avoid the following things.
- Excessive weight gain and lifting heavy objects
- Straining during bowel movements
- Wearing tight clothing (support tights are good)
- Long periods of standing or sitting
- Sitting or standing in same position for a very long time
You must elevate your legs to hip level
while sitting and place a pillow under your feet when lying down. See that you
get enough exercise and a dose of vitamin c to keep the veins elastic and