Varicose Veins & Pregnancy
Pregnancy increases hormone levels and blood volume, which cause veins to enlarge.
Varicose veins in pregnant women usually develop during the first trimester (long before the uterus has enlarged significantly) indicating the major role of hormone changes in the development of varicose veins. In the second and third trimesters, the enlarging uterus also causes increasing pressure on the surrounding veins. Successive pregnancies greatly increase the risk of developing abnormal veins. Although varicose veins during pregnancy often improve within a few weeks after delivery, abnormal veins beyond about three months are unlikely to resolve.
In addition to being pregnant and developing varicose veins, other factors may speed up the development of this disease and make the veins worse, including prolonged standing or sitting, obesity, age, and physical trauma.
Although many people have heard of varicose veins, it is important to know that there is more to be concerned with than just the unsightliness of varicose veins. The is a possibility of varicose veins developing into a serious medical problem, which can compromise the skin’s nutrition and could lead to swelling, eczema, inflammation, and even ulceration of the lower leg. Varicose vein treatments are usually covered by insurance.
Most vein practitioners do not have the background or training to treat vein problems that occur above the legs. Because of their specialized training interventional radiologists like Dr. Pittman are able to treat a number of lifestyle-limiting vein diseases that occur in the pelvis and abdomen such as Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS), labial varicose veins often related to pregnancy, buttock varicose veins and groin varicose veins that originate above the legs and usually cannot be detected or diagnosed with only an ultrasound exam of the legs.
Why do pregnant women often develop varicose veins?