Varicose veins are unsightly, but they are more than just an aesthetic issue. Weakened valves in the leg veins allow blood to pool in the legs when you sit or stand. Varicose veins are more common in the legs where the pooling of the blood causes the veins immediately beneath the skin to dilate and become varicose.
Even though varicose veins in pregnancy are common, that doesn’t make them any less frustrating. Expecting mothers with varicose veins want to know, “Will my varicose veins go away after pregnancy?” In short, they usually get better in the six to twelve weeks after giving birth. If you are concerned about this you will want to learn more about varicose veins in pregnancy, whether it is something to be worried about and how to take action if they don’t go away.
Why Does Pregnancy Cause Varicose Veins?
Several factors lead to varicose veins in pregnancy. Hormonal changes including progesterone are elevated early in pregnancy, causing your veins to dilate and blood to pool in the legs thanks to gravity. As the blood volume increases to supply the baby and placenta the veins to dilate further, as a side effect of pregnancy. In pregnancy the release of Relaxin helps prepare the body for delivery, which also causes the smooth muscles in the veins to relax. As the baby grows in the second and third trimester it applies pressure on the veins causing them to dilate. Each of these factors increases the risk of varicose veins in pregnancy.
Are There Risks Involved with Having Varicose Veins in Pregnancy?
Approximately 28 percent of women will develop varicose veins during their pregnancy. The most common side effects of having varicose veins are an unsightly appearance, swelling and itching. They can also spread to the vulva and create pain when sitting or using the restroom. For more severe varicose veins during pregnancy, some women are placed on bedrest. The most worrisome and painful complication, however, is superficial vein thrombosis or clotting of the varicose veins.
Will My Varicose Veins Go Away After Pregnancy?
Many women with varicose veins during pregnancy notice their gradual disappearance between six and twelve weeks after delivery, as the hormonal changes of pregnancy gradually resolve. Most disappear after the first pregnancy; however, some persist after the second. By the third pregnancy, up to 60 percent of moms will have varicose veins that do not resolve. Compression hose, exercise, elevation and weight reduction help lessen the development and appearance of varicose veins during pregnancy and speed their resolution after delivery. However, women whose varicose veins don’t go away should consider getting an evaluation with a vein specialist.
How Can Persistent Varicose Veins Be Treated?
If itchy and unsightly varicose veins don’t disappear after pregnancy, you can take action to eliminate them with the help of a vein specialist. Treatments like endovenous therapy, microphlebectomy, and sclerotherapy are effective in getting rid of varicose veins and spider veins that linger more than twelve weeks after delivery.
To learn more about eliminating your varicose veins, contact us at Vein Specialists of the South in Macon and Warner Robins, GA.