What You Need To Know About Vein Health During Pregnancy
- Posted on: Apr 15 2017
There are several risk factors associated with varicose veins and spider veins, pregnancy being one of them. If you notice the development of these visible or uncomfortable veins along with the other changes that occur during pregnancy, this could be why . . .
The hormonal changes that begin at the moment of conception send your body into a state of constant flux. One way that hormones affect you during pregnancy is by causing an increase in vein dilation. The ability that blood vessels have to contract is diminished due to the increase in progesterone production in the ovaries and, later, in the uterus. This is necessary for ligaments to become sufficiently lax for delivery, but it does increase the risk of varicose veins.
As a mother’s body transforms into a home for a developing fetus, blood volume increases substantially to support the two lives. Blood volume progressively increases as pregnancy advances, which can mean increased risk of pooling in weak veins.
As it is, blood must work against gravitational force to leave the legs and ascend to the heart for recirculation. The larger the uterus and growing fetus become, the more pressure increases on the pelvis and the veins that pass through this structure. Under this pressure, veins may not function as well as they should.
Just as genetics can predispose a person to varicose or spider veins even outside of pregnancy, family history also dictates, to some extent, whether or not vein conditions will develop for any individual. If a mother or sister developed varicose veins during pregnancy, there is an increased risk for the newly pregnant family-member.
Help for Varicose Veins during Pregnancy
Varicose veins are typically not treated during pregnancy, primarily because they may naturally resolve as the body regains optimal health after delivery. This may take months, and if improvement does not occur, medical treatment may be warranted.
To minimize the risk and effects of varicose veins during pregnancy, women are encouraged to avoid standing or sitting for too long. If legs feel heavy or tired, elevation and rest can improve comfort by alleviating pressure.
Schedule a consultation
Do you have questions about how to treat varicose veins after pregnancy? We’d love to help you. Call The Vein Clinic at (803) 253-8667.