Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
Where did all those ugly veins come from? It should be a very joyous time – creating new life. However, sometimes the changes in our bodies are very disconcerting and we wonder if we will ever be the same again.
As far as varicose veins and pregnancy, the good news is that many of the superficial spider veins may fade in the months after birth and even some of the larger vessels can go away. However, if you develop the larger, ropey varicose veins and venous insufficiency, these may require treatment in the future.
So what do I do now to prevent varicose veins?
1. Wear graduated compression stockings. Graduated compression stockings have higher pressure at the ankle than the upper portions of the leg, therefore, pushing blood and fluid up. Graduated compression stockings help with swelling and your legs will feel better at the end of the day. There are studies to suggest that they help with the prevention of truncal insufficiency which leads to the large varicose veins. In addition, compression stockings can help prevent phlebitis which is a superficial blood clot and is often quite painful. Compression stockings can look fashionable and they can actually be quite comfortable to wear. Get measured by a certified stocking fitter and look at different stocking brands. At Lakeshore Veins we sell Sigvaris brand which has a style and size to accommodate most body types and fashion tastes.
2. Walk. Contracting the calf muscles helps push the venous blood up the leg which also helps with swelling
3. Try not to gain excessive weight
4. Elevate your feet above heart level several times a day.
Can I have vein treatments while pregnant?
The general answer is no. Most procedures have not been performed in pregnant women and it is not worth taking a chance with your unborn baby. The exception is the rare patient who may have problems with bleeding from their varicose veins.
How long should I wait after giving birth to seek treatment for varicose veins?
We are happy to see pregnant patients and we are happy to answer any questions or concerns. We usually wait 3-6 months after birth to allow your body to adjust. Often without the added blood volume and hormonal changes your legs will look and feel significantly different than they did before giving birth.
Do I need to wait until I am done having children to have varicose vein treatments?
No. We treat many people in between children. Many of these patients have a better pregnancy experience after they have had their varicose veins treated. It is possible to have recurrence after the next pregnancy which will need to be treated.
If you have further questions about varicose veins while pregnant or spider veins in pregnancy, do not hesitate to call (262) 241-3999. We are happy to answer your questions at our Mequon varicose vein treatment clinic – Lakeshore Veins.