Voluminous or Not-so-Voluminous Varicose Veins, but still bothersome!

Varicose veins are a hassle.

The picture on the upper right was taken of a 34 year old woman, at 38 weeks pregnant. She sent us this photo of her varicose veins that seemed to appear during pregnancy. The picture on the bottom right is the same woman, taken a week after she delivered. The veins have largely gone away.

Pregnancy Can Cause Varicose Veins

Pregnant moms often notice the appearance of varicose veins for the first time. These veins are at their worst during the pregnancy, and as the picture shows the delivery of the baby eases off the vascular pressure in the post partum period of time when the dramatic cardiovascular changes of pregnancy begin to resolve. Varicose and spider veins in pregnancy will shrink post partum, but some will not resolve and perhaps benefit from therapy. The reasons for the appearance of varicosities are complex. Natural twists and turns of veins, veins that carry additional blood flow, slowed flow through blood vessels, poor valves within the veins, and obstruction because of blood clots are reasons that a woman might develop varicose veins. During pregnancy all these conditions occur, the body’s blood volume increases by half again during pregnancy to handle the nutritional needs of both mom and baby demand that extra blood flow carry nutrients. The pressure of the growing baby on return flow is a relative ‘obstruction.’ The body, mediated by the hormonal changes as the pregnancy progresses, handles the extra blood flow in many ways heart makes changes, it expands, it beats faster, and overall blood pressure drops so that blood vessels can accommodate extra flow being pumped through, and often a few of the veins will be come, in medical terms, less competent, and flow bubbles out and produces the veins that bulge. Spider veins are those that are tiny, and weblike. Superficial varicose veins are larger, even bulging veins, and their larger size and greater potential for complications. As a strategy: first be patient, some veins may resolve to the point they no longer cause pain or trouble, and can, with exercise, support hose, weight control, and nutrition, be ready to withstand the next baby round. #varicoseveins #pregnancy #spiderveins


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