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Varicose Veins in Pregnancy
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Varicose Veins During Pregnancy. Prevention, Treatment, and Management

Pregnant women are undeniably incredible for a multitude of reasons. Their ability to create and nurture life within their bodies is remarkable. The pregnancy journey is a beautiful and transformative experience showcasing the strength, resilience, and love that women possess.

They certainly don't deserve varicose veins.

Unfortunately, varicose veins are quite common during pregnancy, with up to half of pregnant women experiencing them.

Varicose veins can cause aching, throbbing, and burning sensations in the legs. They can also cause swelling in the feet and ankles. Sometimes, the veins can be painful to the touch and cause skin discoloration. Hemorrhoids are a type of varicose vein and can erupt in the vulva (vulva varicosities). As such, they are an unwelcome addition to an already difficult journey.

Fortunately, there is hope.

Let's examine the connection between pregnancy and varicose veins, why they occur, risk factors, treatment, and outcomes.

Why Do Varicose Veins Occur During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, elevated hormones such as estrogen and progesterone increase vein compliance making them softer and more easily stretched out. Progesterone signals the body to increase blood flow, which places additional pressure inside the veins.

Pregnancy also increases circulating blood volume which can double and even quadruple in many women.

Additionally, during pregnancy, increased abdominal pressure caused by the growing uterus places additional pressure inside the veins. This combination of factors increased the pressure on the superficial veins in the legs causing them to stretch, twist, and bulge forming varicose veins. 

Changes in the lower body

Pregnancy can increase pressure on the lower body veins. The added stress can cause vein valves and walls to become weakened, slowing down the return of blood to the heart and leading to the pooling of blood in the veins. The buildup of blood can cause the veins to swell and create varicose veins.

Varicose veins can also occur in the vagina during pregnancy. This phenomenon is due to the increased pressure on the lower body's veins and the resulting blood accumulation. Symptoms can include vaginal swelling, itching, and pain.

How Do You Manage Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?

Varicose veins during pregnancy are not a risk to your unborn child. Nevertheless, they aren't exactly a welcome addition, either.

Fortunately, most women find that varicose veins diminish naturally after delivery. However, there are strategies for minimizing discomfort. Here are a few things you can do to manage – even prevent – varicose veins.


There are a few lifestyle changes and exercises that you can adopt to avoid issues with varicose veins.


While varicose veins are common during pregnancy, there are various treatment options to help manage the condition. Non-surgical options are typically recommended during pregnancy, as they are generally considered safe and effective.


In addition to treatment options, these tips and support measures can help manage varicose veins.

Overall, pregnancy-related varicose veins are typically harmless and can be managed effectively. By following prevention strategies, seeking treatment, and following management tips, you can minimize discomfort and reduce your likelihood of experiencing complications. 

Post-Pregnancy Treatment for Varicose Veins

After delivery, you might elect to undergo minimally invasive interventions to address varicose veins directly. These treatments, such as sclerotherapy and radiofrequency ablation, can help lessen the visible signs of varicose veins and alleviate the associated symptoms, such as pain and swelling.

At Georgia Endovascular, our experts can provide you with the latest, minimally invasive treatments to minimize varicose veins and help you manage your symptoms. We will work with you to develop the best treatment plan for your needs so you can get back to feeling your best.

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