Varicose Veins And Pregnancy: What Should You Know?

Although pregnancy can be a wonderful time for many women, some expectant mothers can experience issues with their health, including varicose veins. Varicose veins develop when the blood vessels in your lower body weaken, particularly in the feet, ankles, and legs. If you suffer from enlarged veins, manage your problem and keep your legs healthy during your pregnancy with the information below:

Why Do You Have Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins develop when your veins become weak and flaccid. Veins must be strong enough to push blood toward your heart. The muscles in your legs contract to help your veins carry out their functions. But certain factors during pregnancy can prevent your veins from returning blood to your heart, including reduced blood circulation in your lower body. 

During pregnancy, your body increases its blood supply in order to support the growth of your baby. But in the process, the blood traveling through your pelvic region and lower body decreases. Your veins and their valves can also weaken from stress. As your baby grows, their weight increases and compresses the blood vessels inside the lower body. Compressed blood vessels need to work harder to return blood back to your heart. 

The symptoms of varicose veins can vary from person to person. But you can develop an uncomfortable itch in the skin covering your varicose veins, as well as a throbbing ache in your legs. The veins may twist and show through the surface of the skin. 

Although varicose veins can potentially become less prevalent after pregnancy, some veins can become worse and require treatment.

How Do You Treat the Varicose Veins in Your Legs?

If you haven't done so yet, talk to an obstetrician, like those at Vita Center For Women LLC, about your varicose veins. Varicose veins can cause dangerous symptoms for some people, including blood clots and infection. Blood clots can harm both you and your unborn baby, especially if the clots break free of your blood vessels and travel to the heart and lungs. You want to keep you and your baby safe.

You may need to wear special compression stockings during your pregnancy. The stockings place a certain amount of pressure on your legs, which helps your muscles contract and veins push blood up the body. An obstetrician can examine your legs to see if stockings are safe for you to use. 

You can also improve your condition by elevating your legs when you sit or lie down. Elevating your legs encourages blood to flow up the body instead of pool inside your veins. If your veins become worse, you may consider treating them with surgery. However, surgery may only become an option once you deliver your baby.

To learn more about varicose veins and pregnancy, speak to an obstetrician today.