Pregnancy can cause lots of changes in your body. As your child grows, hormonal changes can lead to changes that are not always popular. One of the things that you may find yourself developing when you are pregnant is varicose veins.
But is there a way that you can prevent varicose veins during pregnancy? Here we explore this in more detail.
Why Do Varicose Veins Occur in Pregnancy?
Varicose veins can occur at any time and not only when you are pregnant. Unfortunately, they can be more likely to occur during pregnancy. To understand why, it’s important to look at what exactly they are.
Varicose veins are normal veins that have become swollen. You can notice them as bulges near the skin’s surface. They are usually dark blue or purple in colour, and they are often most prevalent on the legs.
They do not always cause pain or discomfort, but they can do. You might feel that your legs are heavier than before, and the skin can itch or throb.
During pregnancy, the uterus grows and this puts more pressure on the inferior vena cava, which is the large vein on the right side of your body. This increases the pressure in the veins in your leg.
Your leg veins have to work hard to get the blood back to your heart. When you are pregnant, the volume of blood in your body increases, and this puts even more pressure on your veins. At the same time, as your progesterone level increases, the walls of your blood vessels relax. All of this can increase the chance of developing varicose veins when you are pregnant.
Can You Prevent Varicose Veins?
There is no clear way to prevent varicose veins. You may be more likely to get them if someone in your family has had them before, and they can also be more common when you are older.
However, there are certain things you can do that may help prevent them. These include taking care of your weight. You will obviously put on some weight during pregnancy, but try to control it. Your doctor or midwife will tell you if you are putting on more weight than you should be.
Avoid standing for long periods of time because this can put more pressure on your legs. Take regular breaks and sit down to take the pressure off.
Unless your doctor or midwife has advised against it, try to do some gentle exercise during your pregnancy. Even going for a short walk every day can help.
Some Good News
One piece of good news is that once you give birth, there is a good chance that your varicose veins will improve and that your body will go back to how it was before you became pregnant. However, it may take a few months for your varicose veins to improve.
If you notice that your varicose veins do not improve after you give birth, you may want to look into treatment options. Visit your GP for advice, and they may recommend wearing compression stockings or use varicose veins cream.
Varicose Veins Are Very Common in Pregnancy
No one likes having varicose veins when they are pregnant, but remember that they are very common. Always see your doctor about them if they concern you. While they are usually harmless, they can sometimes cause complications or cause you distress, so your doctor can suggest various treatment options.