What are varicose veins?
A non-contagious health issue, that is more likely to happen in women than men. They happen when the blood vessels under the skin of the feet and legs become swollen or twisted.
Varicose veins symptoms during pregnancy
Usually, this condition happens in the second trimester of pregnancy and has the following symptoms:
– The veins become blue, or purple and they appear more visible. Sometimes varicose veins look like a spider web and are called spider veins.
– Itching around the swollen veins.
– Pulsing in the legs.
– Swollen feet, heels, and ankles.
– Leg muscle cramps especially during sleep.
Causes of varicose veins
There are several causes for this condition, the most common causes for this issue in pregnancy are:
– Excessive weight.
– Hormone changes affecting the blood vessels.
– The elevated progesterone levels, may relax the blood vessels which might lead to blood accumulation and swelling.
– The increased blood volume, in addition to the pressure of the growing belly may change blood flow in the pelvis and legs.
– Family history.
Varicose veins treatment
Treatment options vary depending on the condition. In mild cases:
– Light exercise after getting the doctor’s approval.
– Walking for at least 30 minutes daily.
– Avoid standing or sitting for prolonged periods.
– Elevate the legs above the heart level, during sleep.
– Avoid tight clothing.
– Maintain a healthy weight.
– Use cold water compresses.
– Wear supportive socks and underwear after consulting your doctor.
Which doctor treats this condition?
You can consult your primary caregiver who might refer you to a dermatologist. The available treatments that are safe during pregnancy are:
– Injecting the veins with a solution that reduces the swelling.
– Laser treatments.
Complications of varicose veins in pregnancy
This condition can develop and spread to the veins in the vagina. This won’t affect the chances of having a normal vaginal delivery, and it can be safely treated during pregnancy.
Learn about the 10 Recent Discoveries in Prenatal Care