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What Causes Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?

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What Causes Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?

Posted on November 19, 2019 by Dr. Stephen Rivard

During pregnancy, your body undergoes a lot of strain and stress. You’re carrying extra weight, a whole person’s worth, so it’s not surprising that your body starts to react. One thing that can happen is the development of varicose veins. Varicose veins are large, swollen veins that appear just under superficial layer of your skin. They appear most often on your legs, but can manifest anywhere on your lower body. Many people want to know what causes varicose veins during pregnancy, and the answer usually depends on the person. However, the underlying causation is pretty understandable.  

For one, during pregnancy your body will be producing more blood than usual to help support healthy fetal development. This is absolutely normal; in fact it’s alarming if your body’s blood volume doesn’t increase during pregnancy. Due to the extra volume, there will be more pressure on your blood vessels, which can contribute to the development of varicose veins. Add the increase of blood volume to pregnancy weight gain and fluctuating hormones and it’s no surprise that varicose veins start to develop.

Since it takes a little bit of time for your body to start to change during pregnancy, most women report noticing the appearance of varicose veins after they start to show. While varicose veins can appear at any point during your pregnancy, the larger you get, the more pronounced they become. While a lot of women will see decrease, if not disappearance, in varicose veins after they deliver, sometimes they don’t recede. If that occurs, there are things you can do such as treating your varicose veins with a board-certified vein specialist like the ones at Illinois Vein Specialists.

While getting your varicose veins treated during pregnancy is possible, you might want to wait until post-delivery. This way, you’ll treat all of your pregnancy-related varicose veins at once. If you feel any pain, soreness, or stiffness during pregnancy, see a specialist right away. In the mean time, make sure you keep your blood flowing as best as possible. Elevate your legs if you’re sitting for long periods of time, exercise regularly, don’t put excess strain on your body, and make an extra effort to watch your weight during pregnancy—aim for healthy weight gain, as directed by your doctor.

To make sure you keep yourself safe and avoid developing any serious problems, visit a board-certified specialist, such as Illinois Vein Specialists. We will safely and effectively treat your varicose veins with a small laser that helps your veins absorb back into your body and restore proper blood flow.

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Tagged pregnancy and veins, varicose veins and pregnancy, varicose


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