A 41-year-old member asked:
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why am i getting varicose veins while pregnant?

14 doctor answers
Dr. Padmavati Garvey
A Verified Doctor answered
Pressure on veins: As the baby and uterus start to grow they exert pressure over the pelvic and leg veins. This pressure can lead to varicose veins in some women. Depending on the patient the varicosities may or may not go away after delivery.
Answered on Oct 13, 2013
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2 comments
Dr. James White
Dr. James White commented
30 years experience Cosmetic Surgery
Early treatment with medical grade compression pantyhose can support and greatly reduce the varicose veins. Compression therapy reduces the superficial vein pressure helping to prevent dilation of the veins. Proper fit and different sizes will be need during the entire pregnancy.
Sep 21, 2013
Dr. Ted King
A Verified Doctor commented
Unfortunately, the varicose veins that appear during pregnancy generally don't ever go away. They get much smaller after delivery and often shrink so much that they are no longer readily apparent but the damage is done and many of these veins will ultimately cause further trouble in the future.
Mar 17, 2012
Dr. Lornell Hansen
26 years experience Phlebology
Agree: I do feel that if you are starting to have varicose veins your physician should get you into a pair of thigh high graduated compression stockings preferably 20 to 30 mmhg otherwise known as class i stockings.
Answered on Jan 5, 2019
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1 comment
Dr. Ted King
A Verified Doctor commented
Dr. Hansen makes a very good point. Most prescription compression stocking manufacturers make maternity compression pantyhose. If thigh high stockings don't stay up, it might be worth considering pantyhose. If swelling is a problem that 20-30 mmHg stockings aren't controlling very well, it also might be worth considering 30-40 mmHg stockings. They are more difficult to put on though.
Feb 28, 2012
Dr. Alexander Vogel
15 years experience Radiology
Venous Hypertension: Pressure on your pelvic veins, from your baby, is making it harder for blood to return to your heart from your legs. As the blood accumulates, pressure builds in the deep and superficial venous system. You can think of varicose veins as little pop-off valves that are relieving this increased pressure by providing a space for your other veins to decompress into.
Answered on Mar 17, 2012
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1 comment
Dr. Ted King
A Verified Doctor commented
In addition to pressure from your enlarging uterus, you also have a lot more blood circulating through your body. Hormones also cause veins to enlarge as well. The combination of all three things makes getting varicose veins when you are pregnant more likely.
Mar 17, 2012
Dr. Steven Zimmet
42 years experience Aesthetic Medicine
Veins in Pregnancy: Varicose veins often develop during pregnancy. The key causes are high Progesterone levels which cause the vein walls to dilate/relax, increased blood volume, and pressure on veins from the enlarging uterus. Graduated compression stockings can be very helpful in improving flow in the veins and thus reducing leg swelling and discomfort. Walking is also very useful as it improves venous flow.
Answered on May 3, 2019
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2 comments
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Dr. Steven Zimmet
42 years experience Aesthetic Medicine
Provided original answer
That's a good suggestion Dr. King.
Feb 28, 2012
Dr. Ted King
A Verified Doctor commented
I completely agree with Dr. Zimmet. If, during pregnancy, painful vulvar and labial varices become a problem, using a V2 supporter might also be of benefit.
Feb 28, 2012
Dr. Ted King
A Verified Doctor answered
Three reasons: The first is hormones, as dr. Zimmet said. Although there are a few that come into play, the biggest culprit is progesterone. Reason #2 is that the amount of blood in your blood stream when you are pregnant increases by 50%. The third is the pressure on your veins that is created by your enlarging uterus. As others have said, graduated compression stockings help, especially if you have pain.
Answered on Oct 4, 2016
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1 thank
Dr. John Landi
46 years experience Phlebology
Increased Pressure.: During pregnancy with the growing uterus, there is increased pressure placed on the veins in the pelvis and lower abdomen.This increased pressure causes the venous pressure to increase which is then transmitted down through the veins resulting in the valves in the veins leaking (refluxing) leading to varicose veins. After delivery, the pressure is reduced. See a vein specialist for an evaluation.
Answered on Dec 21, 2014
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1 comment
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1 thank
Dr. Steven Zimmet
42 years experience Aesthetic Medicine
The causes are multifactorial. The key causes are high progesterone levels which cause the vein walls to dilate/relax, increased blood volume, and pressure on veins from the enlarging uterus.
Aug 6, 2013
Dr. Thomas Wright
28 years experience Phlebology
Hormones and fluid: When you are pregnant 25 % your body weight increase is from fluid.The reservoir for circulating fluid when you are upright are your leg veins. Progesterone, a principle pregnancy hormone, cause smooth muscle & veins to dilate. So in genetically susceptible ladies it is the perfect storm for varicose vein development. Dont fret, they will get better after delivery but they still might need treatment.
Answered on Jan 25, 2015
3
3 thanks
Dr. Joel Gotvald
24 years experience Vascular Surgery
Pregnancy & Veins: It is extremely common to develop varicose veins during pregnancy or the veins to get much worse & multiply during pregnancy. The reason is that the enlarged uterus puts increased pressure on the leg veins and pelvic veins. Since there is genetic vein valve weakness in those who develop varicose veins, valve damage is accelerated when the pressure in the leg veins goes up (like during pregnancy).
Answered on Nov 25, 2013
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1 thank
Dr. Mark Aranson
42 years experience General Surgery
Varicose veins : The state of pregnancy causes a relaxation/malfunction of the valves in the veins in the legs which leads to a back-up of blood in the veins with increased pressure of the blood in the veins stretching the vein walls (varicosity). Wearing good support hose during the pregnancy may help with preventing the development of varicose veins long-term.
Answered on Apr 4, 2016
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1 thank
Dr. Gabriel Goren
A Verified Doctor answered
One should: Also consider the high female hormone of gestation that is known to dilate blood vessels veins included.
Answered on Sep 11, 2013
Dr. Orlando Puente
40 years experience Vascular Surgery
Compression: The uterus grows and compresses the vessels in the pelvis and that also contributes.
Answered on Sep 12, 2013
Dr. Andrew Doe
19 years experience Interventional Radiology
They will get worse: They will get better, but still be damaged. About 40% of women will need their venous disease treated at some point. Pregnancy accelerates this.
Answered on Sep 16, 2013
Dr. Richard Sheppeck
35 years experience Vascular Surgery
Get stockings: One way to help your veins during pregnancy is to ask your OB about venous compression stockings made specifically for pregnancy...They are no fun to put on or take off, but they can help your veins during this time.
Answered on Jun 10, 2014
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1 thank
Dr. Norman Chideckel
41 years experience Vascular Surgery
Varicose veins pregn: during pregnancy its not unusual to develop varicose veins this is due to increasing size of the uterus with pregnancy also the head of the fetus may be putting pressure on one side or the other which can lead to valve breakage and larger varicose veins often spider veins may develop secondary to hormonal changes most of these will resolve several months after completion of the pregancy
Answered on Mar 13, 2017

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