Vein Issues in Pregnancy

pregnant woman with blanket

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If you’re reading this, you’re more than likely suffering from one of the common side effects of pregnancy! Problems with your veins can occur during pregnancy, and are mostly not serious. The bad news is that although there will be improvement after the birth, they can take a while to completely resolve. The good news is that there are treatments you can have if the problem persists or is causing you discomfort. Most of the time vein diseases and complaints are transient and will improve over time. In this article we will go through the different types of vein disease you can get during pregnancy and the causes, plus when to seek help.

Varicose veins

Varicose veins typically present as lumps which are caused by large swollen blood vessels due to the increased levels of progesterone in the body during pregnancy plus the extra blood volume and weight. They are mostly in the lower half of the body – the legs and the vulva. The lumps may get larger as the pregnancy progresses, but will recede after birth. See your doctor or midwife if you are concerned.

Spider Veins

These are small red or bluish veins that appear on the face or legs and have a spiderweb like appearance. They come up on the surface. They will go away about 3-4 months after pregnancy.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the most serious vein condition and you would need to see a health professional as a matter of urgency if you suspect you have a DVT. It is a blood clot in the vein, usually the deep veins in the leg. If this clot was to travel, it can end up in the lung or elsewhere in the body and cause serious harm. A simple scan can test for DVT. If you have swelling, heat or pain in the legs get seen straight away. You are more at risk of DVT during pregnancy, especially if you have a sedentary lifestyle (work in an office for example) or are sitting for long periods like travelling.

Wearing compression stockings can help, staying mobile and active and drinking plenty of fluids. This helps with all vein conditions – also eat a fibre and vitamin C rich diet. The below infographic gives you a helpful summary:

Graphic created by USA Vein Clinics, a provider of varicose vein treatment.

Disclosure: collaborative post

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November 29, 2019
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