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pregnant woman sitting with her daughterPregnancy is a life-changing event in a woman’s life. The experience of carrying a baby is unlike any other, yet it does come with challenges.

About 40 percent of pregnant women develop varicose veins, which occur when the valves in the leg veins malfunction. This increases pressure in the lower extremities and can cause discomfort.

If you’re a pregnant woman with varicose veins, here is how you can manage your symptoms.

How Pregnancy Affects Veins

During pregnancy, the body produces a higher volume of blood to support a growing baby. More blood pumping through the veins puts extra pressure on the blood vessels in the legs.

Additionally, weight gain from pregnancy can put more stress on the vein valves, making it harder for blood to be pumped back to the heart. Fluctuation in pregnancy hormones causes the vein walls to relax which can lead to swelling and other symptoms.

Pregnant women with varicose veins may experience:

  • Aching legs
  • Burning, itching or tingling
  • Edema
  • Leg heaviness
  • Leg restlessness
  • Tenderness around the veins

If left unaddressed, these signs can lead to more serious issues like skin ulcers, inflammation, bleeding and blood clots.

Tips to Prevent or Ease Symptoms

If you start to experience varicose vein symptoms:

  1. Wear compression stockings.
  2. Avoid long periods of standing, which increases pressure on the legs.
  3. Elevate your legs when sitting.
  4. Do low-impact exercises and drink plenty of water to increase circulation.
  5. Avoid tight clothing and shoes.
  6. Reduce your sodium intake to help minimize swelling.

Varicose vein treatment is not recommended during pregnancy, as the condition may improve within 3 months after childbirth. If your varicose veins persist, explore minimally-invasive treatment options at The Vein Centers of Connecticut.
To learn more about our virtually painless solutions, contact us today!