Capitol Vein Blog

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Painful Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Women often wonder why varicose veins become much larger and more painful during pregnancy as opposed to pre-pregnancy. It was often thought the larger uterus was causing pressure on the vein in the pelvis, thereby leading to lower leg varicose veins.
If this were true though, the veins would be most pronounced later in the third trimester of pregnancy. In fact, most women with painful varicose veins tend to notice their onset earlier in the second trimester, before the fetal weight has increased enough to cause any pelvic vein pressure at all.
The real reason the veins become larger and symptomatic is that the hormone changes that go along with pregnancy actually increase into the second trimester. These hormones, estrogen and progesterone, cause the veins to relax and become less resistant to the downward force of gravity. Therefore, blood can start running back down the veins, opposite of the normal flow pattern up the leg. When this occurs, surface veins enlarge and cause pain, throbbing and leg swelling.
During pregnancy, the mainstay of therapy is support hose stockings, leg elevation, and continued activity. Intervention is usually not recommended during pregnancy.
Postpartum, the veins may recede a bit as the hormone levels fall. However, the veins rarely disappear and treatment is very effective after the baby is delivered.
If you would like to comment on this post, we welcome your questions. If you would like further advice on your treatment options, please request a consult at one or our Capitol Vein & Laser offices in Frederick, MD, Bethesda, MD, Leesburg, VA and Charles Town, WV. 


armouris said...

more info on varicose vein here - Treating Varicose Veins

pregnancy announcement ideas said...

What are the ways to get rid of such a painful varicose veins problem ?

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