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When Do you Worry About Increased Swelling During Pregnancy.

When Do you Worry About Increased Swelling During Pregnancy.

Posted on December 27, 2016 by Dr. Stephen Rivard

Pregnancy can be one of the most joyous experiences in life for woman, yet it can also be one of the most physically demanding experiences as well. For example, during pregnancy women go through several changes in hormones, blood levels and overall impact of activity on the body. It is typical that in the time of pregnancy and the time that follows, many women - particularly those who have had multiple pregnancies - may develop symptoms of varicose veins.

According to many American pregnancy associations, the body can produce upwards of 50% more body fluid and blood flow during pregnancy to encourage the proper development of the growing fetus.  As such, swelling in areas like the pelvis, ankles and calves are normal. However, due to the increased pressure that occurs during the normal human gestation period the body may start to develop increased swelling due to venous hypertension.

According to the American College of Phlebology, there are many ways in which a women can increase the “development of varicose veins in pregnant women”. The most common are the result of increased pressure and blood flow in the abdomen and pelvis, and increased hormonesestrogen and progesterone - in the blood.  Both of these natural developments play a significant role on the bodies ability to circulate blood, particularly in the lower regions of the body.

The reason being that veins act as pumps for the circulatory system, pumping blood back up towards the heart. The added pressure makes the body work overtime and sometimes the valves that are inside the veins become weak or even break. Additionally, increased amounts of estrogen and progesterone can deteriorate the vein lining also weakening the veins from functioning properly. 

While the body is often very capable of healing itself naturally, the more a women gives birth the more prone they are to eventually developing varicose veins. 

Here Are Some Helpful Things to Be Aware of While Pregnant and After Birth.

If, while pregnant you notice large bulging veins particularly in the pelvic region or in the ankles and calves, pay attention to them after your give birth. If they seem to dissapate after a few months, generally this is a good sign. However, if they don't and you still feel symptoms of swelling in the ankles and calves, and may even notice a restlessness in the legs, it may be a good time to seek the advice of a certified vein specialist.

Also, remember that the more times a women becomes pregnant the more likely they are to develop varicose veins. It is actually advised by trained vein specialists to seek treatment prior to becoming pregnant - contrary to what you may hear, as the treatment will greatly reduce the painful symptoms of venous disease while pregnant.

To help with the reduction of varicose vein symptoms, many pregnant women should rest as much as possible, but also keep in mind that light moderate exercise can help the blood flow keep pumping and ease the strain on the legs, whilst also taking precautions when traveling, such as wearing pregnancy stockings.

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At Illinois Vein Specialists, we understand that seeking proper care is just as important to you as it is for us.  That is why we focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and provide the most advanced and effective treatments available today.  We 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 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 Doctor (formerly known as Phlebologist)


Tagged pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, varicose vein symptoms