Pregnancy is recognised as a known trigger for varicose veins, causing the characteristic blue/purple coloured twisting and bulging veins to appear for the first time for many women.
Unfortunately, once they have appeared, varicose veins don’t tend to go away of their own accord.
Why Pregnancy Causes Varicose Veins
Pregnancy increases the volume of blood in the body overall to support the growing baby. However, there is a decrease in the flow of blood from the legs to the pelvis, which can put pressure on the veins in the legs.
Preventing Varicose Veins in Pregnancy
There are several lifestyle changes and tips that could reduce the risk of varicose veins forming during pregnancy.
- Watch weight gain – gaining weight is normal during pregnancy, but it’s important to keep within sensible guidelines. Excess weight is a strain to the circulation
- Keep active – exercise is very important to keep the circulation going. Take 1-2 walks a day or try a swim if you can manage it
- Ankle movements – flex and rotate your ankles periodically to boost leg circulation – you can do this even when the bump is very big and other exercise becomes difficult
- Feet up – while it’s important to be active, do also take advantage of opportunities to elevate your legs when sitting
- Posture – avoid crossing you legs when you’re sitting down
- Loose clothing – avoid tight fitting clothes such including socks, belts and underwear
- Maternity tights – while tight fitting clothing is to be avoided, maternity support tights can offer gentle compression to the leg muscle. Compression on the veins can help circulation by pushing blood back toward the heart
- Flat shoes – switch out of high heels as these can put extra pressure on the circulation
- Take it easy – avoid heavy lifting
- Side sleeping – sleeping on the left hand side is said to be beneficial
Varicose Vein Treatments
Treatment during pregnancy is not advised – it is best to follow precautionary advice in order to minimise the risk of varicose veins until after childbirth.
If the varicose veins don’t resolve after pregnancy, then they can be treated using a choice of methods, depending on the severity of the problem.
- Foam sclerotherapy – an injection treatment for smaller varicose veins
- EVLA – latest laser treatment for varicose veins with 95% success rate
- Microsurgery – to remove the veins surgically through very small incisions
Varicose Vein Removal
Varicose vein removal is now available at Cosmedics Skin Clinics private clinic based in Putney, London.
The clinic offers the latest techniques with a top vascular surgeon. There is no need for an overnight stay and patients can actually walk out unaided, same day, after treatment.
For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.