Embrace Your Beauty

I frequently get asked about varicose veins and pregnancy. Specifically, does childbirth make you more likely to get varicose veins and does it make it worse. The answer to both is YES. Those kids, the gifts that keep on giving!

When you become pregnant, one of the early changes that occurs is your blood volume expands. If you have more blood in your veins, it is like blowing air into a balloon. Remember that the basic problem in vein disease is that the walls are not as strong as they should be. Therefore, any varicose veins you already have will look bigger very quickly and you may notice new ones popping up.

As your baby gets bigger, it will occupy more of the space in your pelvis. Remember that your leg veins drain into the pelvic veins. As the baby gets bigger and bigger, it will press on the pelvic veins and cause the blood trying to exit the legs to back up. Also, the pressure inside the veins will increase. The result will be an increase in the size of the existing varicose veins, increased swelling in the legs, and new veins appearing on the surface of your legs.

Lastly, when you are pregnant, you will produce hormones that are designed to relax collagen. The reason for this is to allow a widening of the pelvis so your baby can come out safely. Unfortunately, these hormones have an effect on all of your collagen. So, if you have existing varicose veins, they will get worse. If you haven’t developed any, you will be more prone to getting them as time goes on. This effect gets worse with each subsequent pregnancy, so the more children you have, the more likely you are to develop vein disease.

The good news is that after the birth of your child, issues one and two go away! Unfortunately, issue three, the hormonal effect, is cumulative and stays with you. So, once you are pregnant, it would be beneficial to wear medical grade compression hose until delivery. The hose will reduce your leg swelling, reduce the risk of blood clots, and make the legs feel better. They will not reduce the risk of developing vein disease. However, once you have delivered, you should seek care to treat your varicose veins. We would love to see you at the Genesis Laser & Vein Center!

Categories: View on Veins