We like to talk about all of the wonderful aspects of pregnancy, like the sensation of that first kick and the ultimate joy of bringing new life into the world. Sure, there is a bit of a roller coaster ride that occurs over the nine months of pregnancy, but why talk about the low points when the high points are so exciting? Here’s why: because they exist. The fact of the matter is, many expectant mothers do struggle with things like morning sickness and varicose veins. By discussing them, we can work our way toward solutions.
Why Pregnancy is a Risk Factor for Varicose Veins
There are two looming factors for varicose veins. One is your genetic makeup, and the other is pregnancy. Others exist but may not have as much power as these two. That is why there is a sentiment out there that one can thank (more like blame) her parents or her children for varicose veins. During pregnancy, the reason why varicose veins are more common is that a woman’s levels of progestin increase. Progestin may be referred to as a “pregnancy hormone.” Its purpose is to increase the flexibility of muscles and other structures involved in childbirth. While progestin does this, it also creates laxity in the veins.
Another reason why pregnancy is a prime time for varicose veins to appear is that there is more blood circulating through a woman’s body. This blood supplies both her needs and the needs of her growing fetus. It’s a beautiful thing, and also something that increases the potential for blood to pool in the legs. The extra weight that accrues is just icing on the varicose vein cake.
What can be done about varicose veins during pregnancy?
The issue of varicose veins during pregnancy is concerning to a lot of women. The good news is that there is a chance that varicose veins may disappear on their own as the body returns to its norm regarding weight, circulation, and hormones. This can take a year or two. During pregnancy, women can take measures to improve circulation and lower the risk of varicose veins. Suggestions include sitting with the legs elevated when possible. Walking and swimming are recommended activities for maintaining a healthy weight and encouraging circulation.