During pregnancy, your uterus grows and puts pressure on the inferior vena cava–a large vein on the right side of your body. This increases pressure in your leg veins.
A woman’s blood volume doubles to supply blood to both her and her baby. This puts extra pressure on the blood vessels, especially those in the legs, to push the extra blood back up to the heart.
If you’re concerned about developing varicose veins, this article is for you.
What Causes Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is one of the major risk factors for varicose veins along with the following:
One of the biggest factors of varicose veins is heredity. If you have a family history of varicose veins in your family, chances are that you will, too.
During pregnancy your hormones rise, causing the vein walls to become more relaxed.
Twins or multiples
Pregnancy with multiples puts extra strain on veins and arteries. You may see an increased amount during pregnancy with multiples.
Extra weight increases the demands on your already overworked circulatory system. Keep your weight within the recommended range for your stage of pregnancy. Eat foods high in water.
Standing for long periods of time also increases a pregnant woman’s chances of developing varicose veins. Try to take breaks and sit to avoid long periods of time on your feet.
How to Prevent Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?
While you can’t prevent all risk factors, especially a family history of varicose veins and hormonal changes, you can still take steps to help prevent or lessen the effects of varicose veins during pregnancy.
Even a brisk walk around the block can improve your circulation.
Elevate your feet and legs
Rest your legs on a stool when you’re sitting and elevate your feet and legs with pillows when you’re lying down.
Do Varicose Veins Go Away After Pregnancy?
Varicose veins during pregnancy usually resolve on their own. But the more severe your varicose veins are, the more likely they’ll stay. The good news is that varicose veins in your vagina or vulva almost always resolve after delivery.
Varicose veins may itch or hurt, and they can be unsightly. Treatment, if needed, can usually be postponed until after you have your baby. If you’re having pain or discomfort or are just generally worried about your varicose veins, don’t hesitate to get help and call your doctor.