What Women need to Know
Spider veins and varicose veins usually get worse during the course of pregnancy. Generally, varicose veins can develop as a result of heredity, but one of the most prevalent risk factors in developing varicose veins or other forms of vein disease is the result of the physiological changes that occur in a woman during pregnancy. Research has shown that the more pregnancies a woman has, the more likely she is to develop vein disease. Unfortunately, it is common that they will not simply disappear after childbirth.
Why Does This Happen?
- As the uterus grows, the pressure on the abdomen and lower pelvis increases along with the pressure on the veins below these areas.
- The body needs increased blood flow to the uterus during pregnancy. This causes your veins to work overtime, increasing the burden on the veins below your pelvis even further.
- Amounts of estrogen and progesterone in the blood increase during pregnancy, causing vein walls to stretch and weaken.
- Relaxin, a hormone that affects collagen, also increases during pregnancy, contributing to the weakening of vein walls.
- Pregnancy also typically means a decrease of physical activity.
Collectively, these factors put extra pressure on the veins of the legs causing them to dilate and expand. This systematically weakens the vein walls to the point where the vein valves break and downward pressure begins. Due to the downward pressure, blood flow back to the heart is slowed and collects causing larger bulging and spider veins to appear. For this reason Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic Disease Specialists often recommend that pregnant women wear graduated compression stockings during pregnancy to reduce pressure and pain and increase blood flow.
At Illinois Vein Specialists, we understand that pregnancy alone can take a toll on the body, and the addition of varicose or spider veins only makes matters worse. Although women generally do not get treatment for their varicose or spider veins until after they have delivered, it is a common myth that you need to wait until you have finished all of your pregnancies to seek relief. Today's treatments have become less invasive and more successful.
We recommend that patients schedule a consultation prior to becoming pregnant to see what remedies may apply. Alternatively, if a woman has suffered significantly from varicose or spider veins during a previous pregnancy and anticipates becoming pregnant in the near future, we advise that she schedule a consultation to reduce the pain and swelling of her vein disease during the next pregnancy.
It is almost guaranteed that women who have had 3 or more children will develop varicose veins as a result. It is important to remember that vein disease is real disease; it is actually high blood pressure in the venous system. Just like arterial high blood pressure, it requires medical intervention now whether or not you have pain.
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Seeking Relief from a Board Certified Vein Specialist
At Illinois Vein Specialists, we care just as much about the medicine and the specialized practice of Phlebology (the treatment of vein and lymphatic disease) as we do our patients. We focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and treat patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois. We even have patients from Alaska to Sienna, Italy and Texas to Connecticut.
We understand that when you choose a doctor you want to go to someone you know, like and trust, and honestly so do we. We know that patients come to us most often from satisfied patient referrals, but we encourage you to do your own homework and ask around. In the end no matter where you live or who you decide to have treat your varicose or spider veins find someone who focuses only on diagnosing and treating varicose and spider veins — find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic physician.