There are ways to minimize them and their long term effects.
Typically, there are three main causes. The first, probably the most obvious, is that as the baby grows pressure on the veins in the pelvis increases. This will make it harder for the veins in the legs to circulate the blood back to the heart. This will cause the blood to get backed up in the lower legs and cause the veins to bulge which can present in symptoms of swelling, pain, or visible veins. Second, there is a larger amount of blood in the body due to the growing baby. Lastly, female hormones that are released at an increase rate during pregnancy can cause the walls of veins to weaken.
Compression therapy is prescribed to all of our patients regardless of the extent of venous disease. In the case of pregnancy, we recommend wearing compression hose early on in order to help with blood flow back to heart. We recommend 20-30 mm Hg of compression and the hose should be thigh high.
We also recommend focusing on exercises designed to strengthen leg muscles. This could include light weight exercises or even just good cardio such as walking. Good muscle tone naturally helps pump the blood back up the legs.
The good news is that in most cases symptoms and visually appearance of varicose veins usually subside after several weeks post-partum. For cases in which they linger or do not subside, Memphis Vascular Center can help! We offer the latest in cosmetic and medical treatments for venous disease. Memphis Vascular Center is also the first center in the Memphis area to be nationally accredited by the IAC as a Vein and Vascular testing center.