If you’re pregnant and start to notice darkened veins popping up on your legs, don’t panic. Varicose veins are common during pregnancy. In fact, they affect about 10-20% of pregnant women.
Why do they occur?
There are several reasons why varicose veins develop during pregnancy. These include:
- Extra volume of blood
The extra volume of blood during pregnancy is important to support two bodies – you and your baby. However, this causes extra pressure on your blood vessels, which are already working hard against gravity to push the blood back to the heart. On top of that, there is the inevitable weight gain and growing uterus, which adds more pressure on the pelvic blood vessels.
- Hormonal changes
You have an increased in progesterone level during pregnancy. This hormone causes the walls of your blood vessels to relax, making you more prone to develop varicose veins.
- Family history
Not all pregnant women will develop varicose veins but you are more likely to develop these if you have a family history of it.
What can be done?
While there are certain factors about varicose veins that you can’t control (i.e. family history, circulatory changes), there are definitely things you can do to prevent or minimize them:
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time.
If your work requires prolonged seating periods, make sure to have mini breaks for stretching or a short walk.
- Keep moving
Daily physical activity is good for your blood circulation. However, before you try something new, consult with your doctor first.
- Elevate your legs
Elevating your legs periodically can help improve circulation.
- Watch your sodium intake
Too much sodium in your diet can worsen the swelling of your veins.
If you’re still living with varicose post-partum, we can help. Premier Vein Clinics in Knoxville offers minimally invasive treatment options that can be done in-office, with little to no downtime.
For a limited time, we are offering FREE vein screenings at our office! Request yours online today.