Varicose veins are the veins under the skin that appear to be swollen, enlarged and twisted. Varicose veins are usually bluish-purple or red in color.
Varicose veins are quite common, affecting around 23 percent of adults around the world. Women are more prone to developing varicose veins than men. Pregnant women are at an even greater risk. According to some research, around 40 percent of women develop the condition of varicose veins during their pregnancy.
Varicose veins are very common during pregnancy. Most commonly, they are seen in the legs or the lower body. This can be due to a number of reasons.
Why do Varicose Veins develop during pregnancy?
Varicose veins occur when the superficial veins do not function properly. Superficial veins are the veins that are close to the skin. These have one-way valves and their main function is to carry the blood back to the heart. As the uterus grows during pregnancy, downward pressure is exerted on the venous flow. Due to this, the veins get enlarged and become visible.
Also, during pregnancy, to support the proper growth of the baby, the blood volume in the body increases by about 20 percent but the number of veins carrying the blood is still the same. Due to this excess pressure on the vascular system, the proper functioning of the veins hinders.
Hormones also play a major role in the development of varicose veins during pregnancy. These hormones make the vein walls smoother due to which it becomes difficult for the blood to flow upwards towards the heart. Due to this, backpressure generates that dilates the veins more. Due to this, the vein valves also become weak and varicose veins are developed.
Varicose veins can cause severe pain. You may feel a heaviness in your legs. In some cases, the skin around the veins can also become itchy. You should know that this is normal.
Are varicose veins the same as stretch marks?
Do not confuse varicose veins with stretch marks. Stretch marks are the pink or purple lines on the skin that appear on the stomach as the pregnancy progresses. These are not the same as varicose veins as in varicose veins, it is the veins that are affected and not the skin.
When do varicose veins surface during pregnancy?
Varicose veins can appear at any point in time during pregnancy but over time as the baby grows, the pressure on the lower body increases and the varicose veins tend to become bigger.
What can I do to prevent Varicose veins during pregnancy?
Although there is no sure way to prevent varicose veins from developing during pregnancy, there are a few tips that can be tried to reduce the chances.
- Walking and swimming can help maintain the proper flow of blood
- Exercising can be really beneficial
- Avoid sitting continuously for prolonged periods of time
- While resting or sitting, try to make sure that your legs are at a higher elevation than your hips.
Are varicose veins harmful? Is my baby at any risk due to the condition?
If you develop varicose veins at any point during your pregnancy, do not worry. These are harmless in most cases. Also, varicose veins will not affect your baby at all. If you never had varicose veins before and they developed during pregnancy only, it is very likely that they will start receding gradually after delivery. Although varicose veins are not harmful, make sure to inform your gynecologist if these develop. Keep your gynecologist updated so that you can avoid any serious unprecedented complications.
How to get relief from the pain caused due to varicose veins?
Also, you can follow some tips to get relief from the pain and heaviness caused due to varicose veins. Keep your legs elevated while sitting to maintain proper flow of blood. Certain exercises can help in increasing blood circulation. Avoid wearing tight clothes, especially around the tops of your legs. Make sure not to cross your legs while sitting.
Maternity support hosiery can also be really helpful. These can help by putting pressure on the legs, thereby facilitating the upward flow of the blood towards the heart. Also, try to sleep on your left side so that the pressure on the inferior vena cava can be relieved.
What diet changes that can be beneficial in dealing with varicose veins during pregnancy?
Changes in the diet can also help considerably in providing relief from the dull ache of varicose veins. You should reduce the intake of sodium as excess sodium can increase the swelling. Drink a lot of fluids and stay hydrated. Include fiber-rich foods in your diet as they can prove to be beneficial in maintaining healthy body weight during pregnancy. Also, you must increase the intake of Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen and elastin. These are connective tissues that repair and maintain the blood vessels. So, yes bringing these healthy dietary changes will definitely help you in coping up varicose veins and keep fetus healthy too.
Mild pain, heaviness. and itching in the affected area is quite normal and is nothing to worry about. However, consult your doctor immediately if the veins become warm, tender or red, or if you suffer from bleeding and discoloration of the skin around the varicose veins.
In most cases, the varicose veins disappear on their own in 3-4 months post-delivery. For some women, this may take up to one year. So, it is better to wait for about for a few months before going for further treatments.
In case varicose veins do not resolve on their own after the pregnancy, or if the condition worsens, consult a doctor and go for alternative treatments. There are several temporary treatments available. Compression stockings can also help in bringing relief from varicose veins. But for serious or recurring cases of varicose veins, only permanent solution is surgical treatment.
Nowadays, doctors use modern laser-based treatment to cure varicose veins in Delhi. The treatment has a high success rate and has nil chances of postoperative complications.
You can contact us at Pristyn care if you have any doubts or are looking for an effective treatment for varicose veins. We offer the modern laser-treatment to get you rid of the varicose veins once and for all.