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Varicose Veins During Pregnancy: What You Should Know

Expectant mothers often have a good idea of what they can do to promote a healthy pregnancy, such as avoiding alcohol and tobacco, having regular prenatal checkups, and getting consistent exercise. However, many women are unaware that pregnancy puts them at a higher risk for varicose veins.

Varicose veins during pregnancy often appear on the legs, but may occur on other areas of the body. They may appear large or smaller and less noticeable. The good news is there are steps women can take to mitigate this risk and to treat varicose veins if they do not clear up after the baby is delivered.

Why Is Pregnancy a Risk Factor for Varicose Veins

Pregnancy increases your risk of varicose veins not only because your body produces a higher volume of blood while you’re pregnant, but also because pregnancy reduces the speed of your blood as it returns to your pelvis from your legs, according to Mayo Clinic. This can boost the pressure in your veins, resulting in blood backing up and pooling where it doesn’t belong.

Another reason you’re more susceptible to varicose veins while pregnant is because your body is pumping a significantly higher amount of the hormone progestin through your system, which leads to greater dilation, or opening, of the veins, Mayo Clinic explains.

How Can I Prevent Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?

While there’s no failsafe way to prevent varicose veins while pregnant, you can mitigate the problem by elevating your legs, wearing compression stockings, staying in a healthy weight range and frequently changing your position if you sit or stand for hours on end.

Many pregnant women see their symptoms disappear within a year of giving birth, but other women continue to experience symptoms of varicose veins long after their baby is born. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort – or simply wish to improve the appearance of your legs – be sure to discuss your condition with a physician or contact Via Vascular to find out if you are a candidate for varicose vein treatment.

About Via Vascular

To find out if EVLT or microphlebectomy are good solution for your varicose veins, contact Via Vascular. Our team of board-certified radiologists specializes in minimally invasive varicose vein treatment as an alternative to surgery for both varicose veins and spider veins. For more information or to set up an appointment, give us a call at (206) 525-8346.

(Photo by David Castillo Dominici via

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