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Getting Varicose Vein Treatment While Pregnant

Getting Varicose Vein Treatment While Pregnant

Posted on January 29, 2014 by Dr. Stephen Rivard

Why waiting to treat your Varicose Veins may have Negative side effects for later pregnancies. A Patient’s Perspective.

Although it may be common to hear your doctor say that you should wait until you are completely finished having children before treating your varicose or spider veins, the truth is you may be getting the wrong advice.  As we have seen in the last few articles, there are many common misconceptions or myths about varicose vein treatment, and why waiting to treat them may cause needless suffering or more serious side effects down the road. In this article we will hear from a patient about her experience with varicose veins through pregnancy.  While many patients do not prohibit from sharing their names, unless otherwise requested these stories will remain anonymous. Our patient’s share their stories with you out of a desire to educate more people who may have potential issues with vein disease so that they may seek relief before the disease gets worse.

Our next patient, as mentioned, is female, mid 30’s and has given birth to 3 children, and will be referred to as Karen. Karen, common to many women who have given birth, did not actually notice any signs or symptoms of varicose veins during her first pregnancy. However, during her second pregnancy she started to notice bulging veins and patches of spider veins. She recalls many restless nights tossing in her bed from Restless Legs and often needed to get out of bed to stretch or move about. Eventually, the pain and swelling became worse and Karen decided to talk to her doctor about her legs. The doctor informed Karen that the increased pressure in her pelvis is most likely the cause of her restless legs, but she may want see a vein specialist when she is finished having children as it would most likely happen again. Fortunately, Karen was referred to Illinois Vein Specialist by a friend who had the same experience. Karen followed her advice and sought a second opinion. Although Karen could not get her legs treated during the pregnancy she was asked to return after the birth. Additionally, Karen was recommended to wear compression stockings for the time being to help reduce some swelling and pain, but was informed that her symptoms would likely persist even after childbirth.

During the course of pregnancy the body increases the amount of estrogen and progesterone. These hormones compressiontights-211x300breakdown the interior lining of the veins making them weaker, causing them to expand, and eventually prohibiting their proper function of pumping blood back to the heart.  When the veins become damaged in this manner, or simply become varicose veins, the increased pressure during pregnancy on the veins causes the blood to pool in the legs and ankles creating swelling and pain. While Karen’s doctor was correct to say that she was likely to incur similar symptoms and pain if she had more children the misconception is that treating your veins along the way does not necessarily help the process. The truth is that if you have symptoms during your pregnancy that result in varicosities and/or spider veins, they are likely to remain even after giving birth.  When the veins become damaged they cannot be fixed, only removed. That is why if you have varicose veins and do not treat them before your next pregnancy the pain and suffering will only increase as will your vein disease. The process starts all over again, but this time with already damaged and non functioning veins.

Karen was treated after her second child, and again after her third, but noticed that while the pain and swelling came back she at least reduced the pain in-between her pregnancies and decreased the pressure in her third pregnancy.  In fact, when asked if she would have waited until she was done having children before getting the procedure, she stated, “I wouldn’t wait, the pressure was just so painful, and I cannot imagine what it would have felt like again with the pressure on my bulging veins had I not treated them prior.”  Karen, received treatment within 6 weeks of giving birth and stated that the pain and swelling went down immediately. Additionally, for mothers who may be concerned about getting your veins treated while breastfeeding, the great news is that the solution used during therapeutic ultrasound guided sclerotherapy is non-toxic, FDA approved, and can simply be pumped out after treatment, meaning you can return to breast feeding within 6hours. 


For more information, download our free patient guide!

DOWNLOAD A Patient's Guide to Treating Varicose & Spider Veins



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.


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