Pregnancy and Varicose Veins
Why Do Women Develop Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is the leading cause of vein disease in females due to the hormone fluctuation that happens within the body. Many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy, or find that existing one’s only get worse.
Veins are the blood vessels that return blood from the extremities to the heart, so the blood in leg veins is already working against gravity. During pregnancy, additional factors take effect. The growing uterus puts pressure on the central vein on the right side of the body (the inferior vena cava), which in turn increases pressure in the leg veins. During pregnancy, the amount or volume of blood in the body increases, further adding to the burden on the veins. Additionally, hormone levels vary tremendously, such as rising progesterone levels, which cause the vein walls to relax.
How to Slow the Progression of Varicose Veins
- Exercise daily to maintain good circulation
- Strive to keep within the recommended weight range
- Elevate your feet and legs whenever possible
- Don’t sit or stand for long periods without breaks
- Wear medical-grade graduated compression stockings throughout the duration of your pregnancy. These stockings are available from vein clinics and medical supply stores. They have the highest level of compression at the ankle, which then slowly decreases in strength as they go up the leg, making it easier for blood to flow back up toward the heart. This leads to less venous pooling, and decreases the venous pressure in the limbs.
Varicose Vein Treatment During Pregnancy
In the event that you are pregnant and suffering from painful varicose veins in your legs, or even in your labia (very painful and very common during pregnancy), some relief can be provided by undergoing a series of simple injection treatments, which are not harmful to the pregnancy. The optimal scenario would then be to complete the definitive treatment protocol via Laser Closure/Ablation approximately four to six weeks post-delivery. However, if you are extremely symptomatic or developing complications, laser treatment can be performed even during pregnancy, and since it’s performed under local anesthesia it is considered very safe.
Vein disease should be treated sooner rather than later because once a vein becomes varicose, it will not return to normal. Therefore, it’s important for females suffering from vein disease to seek a timely evaluation, and not wait until complications develop or wait until after they are done having children. Vein disease will only worsen, causing even more pain during subsequent pregnancies. After a laser treatment, there is only minimal risk for recurrence with additional pregnancies, so there is no compelling reason a patient should delay treatment.
Why Choose Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz
When you choose Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz for your vein procedure, you will be working with an experienced physician who specializes in vein disease. Dr. Schwartz is known as Kansas City’s “Original Vein Doctor” and the only triple board-certified vascular surgeon performing vein treatments in the area. Premier Vein & Body was founded in 2003 and was one of the first vein treatment centers in the Kansas City area. Dr. Schwartz is certified as an RVT (Registered Vascular Technician) and RPVI (Registered Physician Vascular Interpretation). These certifications are in venous ultrasounds technology, ensuring the most thorough diagnosis and treatment of vein disease. With over 12,000 vein procedures performed, we’re confident that we can help you no matter what your vein condition might be.
To learn more about the treatment of Varicose Veins during pregnancy, schedule your consultation with Dr. Schwartz by filling out the form on this page or by calling his practice at (913) 451-8346 . Premier Vein & Body by Schwartz serves Kansas City, Leawood, and Overland Park.