People can develop varicose veins for a number of reasons, which includes carrying excess body weight due to pregnancy, being overweight or obese, standing for long periods of time, consuming hormonal medications and ageing. During pregnancy, varicose veins can appear not only as bulging enlarged veins or bruising on the legs but also in the vaginal birth canal and in the labia or vulva. The occurrence of varicose veins during pregnancy is not uncommon, affecting around 40 percent of women and especially those who have multiple pregnancies. You can visit The Private Clinic for advice on this problem.
Symptoms of varicose veins during pregnancy
During pregnancy a woman’s body prepares itself for child birth with not only the presence of the unborn baby, but also the build-up of fluids and weight to feed and nurture the unborn child. As a result, pregnant women may start to experience symptoms such as swelling in the legs with spider veins and skin bruising causing throbbing, cramping, swelling and a burning sore sensation. The varicose veins may become visible through the skin as the pregnancy develops and some may also experience pain in the labia and vaginal area.
Causes of varicose veins during pregnancy
In pregnancy, the body’s sex hormones change. Progesterone levels increase and affect pressure in the veins and how blood flows or is restricted by the vein valves and wall. As blood pressure during pregnancy increases, so does the potential to develop symptoms of or varicose veins. Genetics and weight gain can play a role too.
Diagnosing varicose veins in pregnancy
Usually the health of a pregnant mother is regularly monitored for appropriate care and changes in wellbeing, such as varicose veins. Some are visible on the skin by clinical examination and others may be detected through ultrasound scanning and diagnosis. Early detection of varicose veins during pregnancy is essential to identify the right varicose vein treatment and to prevent conditions such as eczema, phlebitis and ulceration from developing.
Varicose vein treatment in pregnancy
A clinical decision must be made on when and how to treat varicose veins during or after pregnancy. However, treatments that exist include inverted stripping surgery, VNUS Closure, Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy and ELVeS™ and EVLT™ Laser Procedure.