How Pregnancy increases the risk for varicose veins
Varicose veins are a common condition in the United States
and affect about 25% of women. The process of valve failure
is almost entirely hereditary. However, certain conditions
such as hormonal changes and pregnancy can play a unique role
in women of childbearing ages.
Pregnant women frequently develop new onset varicose veins
as the pregnancy progresses. Not only does pregnancy increase
the volume of blood in a woman’s body, but the enlarging womb
also decreases the flow of blood traveling out of the legs.
In addition, there is weight gain and a surge of hormones that
contribute to weakening of the walls of the veins, allowing
them to dilate more.
The majority of women who do develop varicosities of the leg
veins will retain these veins after pregnancy. Multiple
pregnancies are also associated with varicose veins. In fact,
with multiple pregnancies, the varicosities always worsen in
size, shape and symptoms.
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent the development of
varicose veins, but there are conservative measures that may
lessen their symptoms and delay the worsening of existing
varicose veins. If problems persist, you may want to seek