There is a common misconception about varicose veins that they are a product of old age. In truth, there are a variety of potential causes behind varicose veins that mean they could appear even in younger adults.
Varicose veins appear when valves in the veins don't function properly. Normally, these valves are one-way, funneling blood back to your heart from extremities. When valves malfunction, however, blood can back up into veins, most often in the legs, pooling and causing swelling that makes the veins bulge, appearing as ropy, raised projections under the skin.
While factors like age, weight, heredity, gender, and health can certainly play a role in the onset of varicose veins, many people don't know that hormones may also be to blame. In fact, it is extremely common for varicose veins to crop up during pregnancy.
The good news is that you don't have to suffer with varicose veins throughout your pregnancy and beyond. Reputable and qualified physicians at places like Metro Vein Centers can schedule you for an appointment to diagnose your condition and discuss the best varicose vein treatment options.
However, you should also know a few things about the onset of varicose veins during pregnancy. Why is this occurrence so common? What can you expect? And what varicose vein treatment options are available to you? Don't let varicose veins ruin your pregnancy.
Why Do Pregnant Women Get Varicose Veins?
For starters, not every pregnant woman will experience this condition, but it is not at all uncommon, so if you start to see bulging veins, don't panic. They may develop early in pregnancy or later on, and they are related to hormonal changes in the body.
As hormone levels fluctuate to accommodate the growing fetus, your body will be affected in a number of ways. One major change is how blood flows in your body. During pregnancy, blood volume increases to support the added demand of the fetus. However, blood flow to the lower extremities also slows as your circulatory system diverts blood flow to your uterus.
The unfortunate result can be added pressure and weakening valves that lead to enlarged veins and the many potential side effects they entail, both cosmetic and physical. If you notice varicose veins beginning to develop at any point during your pregnancy, your first step should be to contact a vein treatment center for a varicose vein treatment consultation. The certified professionals at this reputable organization can help you to understand the condition and your options for varicose vein treatment.
What Can You Expect with Varicose Veins during Pregnancy?
There's a chance enlarged veins could disappear on their own within a few weeks or months following labor and delivery. This is not always the case, though, especially if varicose veins are hereditary, and in the meantime, you may not want to suffer with unsightly or painful varicose veins.
What can you expect? If you decide to take a wait-and-see approach to varicose veins that develop during pregnancy, you should not expect them to improve until after labor and delivery. They may not get worse, but they are unlikely to disappear during the course of pregnancy. Also, they could worsen with time, especially as you gain baby weight and mobility becomes limited.
Varicose veins are not only visually unappealing, but they can also cause aches, pains, cramps, and heaviness in the legs, among other undesirable symptoms. In extreme cases, you may see ulcers, bleeding, or other complications or conditions related to varicose veins. In other words, they are not a pleasant addition to the average pregnancy.
Board-certified vein specialists are ready to assist you with your varicose vein treatment during pregnancy, and will take your condition into consideration when making any treatment plans. There's no need to suffer throughout your pregnancy and beyond when there are so many safe and minimally-invasive options for varicose vein treatment available.
There are a few things you can do on your own to decrease the pain and other symptoms associated with varicose veins. Medical grade compression stockings can add pressure that helps to regulate circulation in your lower extremities until after your pregnancy is over and your hormones and bodily functions return to normal, but you may find them uncomfortable to wear all day, every day.
Diet and exercise can also help to alleviate symptoms. Drinking plenty of water is an essential part of regulating circulation at any time, including during pregnancy. If you are suffering from leg pain related to varicose veins, however, you need to make sure to get up and move frequently, as well as flex leg joints (knees and ankles) constantly throughout the day to avoid stiffness and pain.
Even this may not provide the relief you seek, though, and these efforts will do little to hide the dark bulges of varicose veins. This is why it's so important to visit a clinic that offers the expertise and technology needed to help you eliminate varicose veins.
Whether you want to treat enlarged veins for cosmetic reasons or you're suffering from swelling, cramping, pain, bleeding, or superficial vein thrombosis (SVT), which causes superficial blood clots, a specialist can assess your condition using painless and non-invasive duplex ultrasound technology. From there you can discuss available treatment options.
Sclerotherapy and endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) are both considered safe and minimally-invasive treatments. While there is nothing to recommend against such treatments during pregnancy, most physicians will err on the side of caution and recommend waiting until after labor and delivery if possible (usually about six weeks).
If you are suffering from a lot of pain or other symptoms related to varicose veins during pregnancy, however, you should definitely discuss your options with the qualified and experienced physicians at Metro Vein Centers or a similar treatment center. Experts can explain all your options and come up with a personalized treatment plan that's right for you. In most cases, you can even receive insurance coverage for your varicose vein treatment.
You shouldn't have worry about the discomfort and pain of varicose veins when you're pregnant - you want to focus on more important things.