Varicose veins aren’t just a health issue that comes with age. Pregnancy is a very common time to get varicose veins as well.
What are they exactly? Varicose veins are veins whose valves have stopped functioning correctly or whose walls are too thin allowing the blood pressure to cause a bulge.
This bulging becomes exaggerated during pregnancy because the heavy weight of the uterus puts additional pressure on veins that are already thinning or dysfunctional. Progesterone is a relaxing hormone whose levels rise during pregnancy further relaxing weakened vein walls. The volume of blood increases by approximately 40% during pregnancy as well and this adds to the pressure on the vein walls. Varicose veins are often seen in the legs and can also be found in the vulva, especially during pregnancy.
Varicose veins are normally close to the surface so they are easily seen. They appear as deep purple or blue squiggly lines. In addition to being unsightly they can also be quite painful. Some lucky women experience no discomfort or pain while others have intense throbbing or burning sensations in the varicose vein area.
We see many pregnant women in our office. If you think you may be experiencing common varicose veins during your pregnancy, feel free to contact us to discuss further.
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