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Pregnancy and Your Veins

Why pregnancy sometimes causes varicose veins and what you can do about it!

Pregnancy changes your body in so many astounding ways. As your body changes, one of the first things you will notice is that your breasts will become tender, you’ll gain a little bit of healthy baby weight and you may need to consume more calories. Each of these changes are brought on by an active hormone called progesterone, and represent something only pregnant mothers will experience.

As your pregnancy progresses, your body will begin the production of milk for breastfeeding, the thickening of your uterus to carry the child, and the dilation of your blood vessels and veins to allow for increased blood flow to and from the growing fetus and organs. These changes all seem natural, but what some women find shocking is that they develop unsightly varicose veins in the process. But why would pregnancy cause varicose veins to appear and what can you do about it?

A little background on varicose vein formation…

Chances are, you may notice a few rogue veins – raised, ropy, dark blue – that appear on the lower area of the body, mostly your legs. Varicose veins are not just something you’ll notice on older people, but something that can arise from increased pressure on your veins, no matter your age. Young and old have the potential to develop varicose veins based on genetics and pressure on the veins caused by weight gain and/or a sedentary lifestyle.

During pregnancy, your veins and blood vessels dilate to allow you to take on more blood volume, which causes temporary venous insufficiency. This pressure exerted on the lower half of the body causes varicose veins to appear on the vulva, around the anus, in the legs, arms and chest.

Why You Need More Blood During Pregnancy

For pregnant women, varicose veins are the result of a surge in blood flow during pregnancy. The blood provides essentials that babies need to develop – oxygen, iron, digested components from food, and proteins. So in addition to providing oxygen and nutrients to your organs, your baby will also take these things from your blood as well, and that means increased blood flow and volume. While you may be shocked to see some of these veins appear during your pregnancy, there are ways to treat them, and we offer a variety of solutions at the Vein Care Center.

To prevent or minimize the symptoms and reduce the risk of complications of varicose veins, we suggest changing your pattern of sitting and standing. Sitting too long or standing too long can cause pressure to increase in your lower region, so it’s important that you make a shift in your position as often as is comfortable. For pregnant women, we recommend elevating your legs about 15 minutes per day to allow the blood to passively flow back upward. You should also try walking more, to keep the blood moving. We also recommend wearing medical grade graduated compression hose during active hours. After pregnancy, if you still see varicose veins remaining on the body, we offer a few different varicose vein reduction treatments.

VCC Varicose Vein Treatments Include:

  • Prescription compression stockings
  • Endovenous Laser treatment (EVLT)
  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Surface Laser for Spider Veins

We understand that pregnancy causes enough unusual changes to your body, so varicose veins shouldn’t be a concern. Call the Vein Care Center in Lima at 419-227-4472 or at the Celina location at 866-472-4472 to make an appointment today!

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