Up to 40 percent of women develop varicose veins during pregnancy, many who never had a vein problem before...Fortunately, there are methods to prevent or decrease the symptoms of varicose veins during pregnancy
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) July 19, 2012
Varicose veins are common during pregnancy and partly due to the hormone surges women experience, said vein specialist Dr. Maged Mikhail. However, the problem can be treated or prevented if expectant mothers educate themselves about varicose veins, he said. .
“Up to 40 percent of women develop varicose veins during pregnancy, many who never had a vein problem before,” said Dr. Mikhail. “Fortunately, there are methods to prevent or decrease the symptoms of varicose veins during pregnancy.”
Pregnancy is one of the main risk factors for developing varicose veins. Pregnant women are more likely to have vein disorders due to a 50 percent increase in blood volume and the growing uterus putting pressure on leg veins, which can cause them to enlarge. Women who have a family history of varicose veins are most likely to develop them during pregnancy. Varicose veins can get worse with each successive pregnancy and may itch, throb, create a burning sensation, or cause leg fatigue.
Most commonly found in the legs, varicose veins are visibly bulging blood vessels which can be caused by a number of variables. They develop because blood in the legs works against the flow of gravity to return blood to the heart where it is re-circulated by arteries. Tiny, one-way valves in healthy veins prevent blood from flowing backward, but in varicose veins, the walls of the vein stretch and prevent the valves from working properly. Blood then leaks backwards and the vein bulges because of pooled blood.
Mr. Mikhail has several recommendations to prevent or minimize development of varicose veins during pregnancy:
- Wear graduated compression stockings. These garments are twice as thick as regular pantyhose. They are tight at the ankle and looser further up the leg, enabling blood in the legs to flow upward more easily. These stockings are especially important during the first trimester, when varicose veins are most likely to develop.
- Exercise daily. This can help improve your circulation. Even a brisk walk for 20 minutes can be sufficient.
- Gain only as much weight as recommended by an obstetrician.
- Eat a healthy diet and take pre-natal vitamins.
“After giving birth, varicose veins will usually improve within three to four months, but sometimes the problem persists. A number of minimally-invasive treatments for varicose veins are available which will allow you to immediately return to normal activities afterwards,” said Dr. Mikhail.
Dr. Mikhail is a Registered Vascular Technologist with more than 24 years of experience in private and academic practice. He is board certified in critical care medicine, pain management and anesthesiology, with certifications in cardiac and vascular ultrasound.
For more information about leg vein disorders, visit The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/vv/