Varicose Veins & Pregnancy: When Is The Best Time To Treat Veins?
Pregnancy and Varicose Veins
Pregnancy comes with a long list of changes to your body. Your hormone levels elevate. This occurs early in pregnancy and is a reason women often notice varicose veins early in pregnancy, before the weight gain. Weight gain and fluid retention are also contributing factors to the development of varicose veins during pregnancy, as is constipation.
The sight of those ropy, bulging veins on your legs and feet might make you cringe, and your legs may be swollen and painful, but your veins can’t be treated while you’re pregnant. Yet our goal at Texas Vein & Cosmetic Specialists is to help you make informed decisions, so we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
No Varicose Veins Yet? Keep Them at Bay
If you haven’t yet developed varicose veins during your pregnancy, it may be possible to prevent them. And, as you know, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So, how do you keep them at bay? A few simple steps can help:
- Stay active
- Get moderate exercise
- Elevate your legs periodically
- Reduce your salt intake
- Consider support stockings
- Get more fiber
These are known measures that you can take to reduce the likelihood of developing varicose veins while you are pregnant.
What Causes Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is one of the most common times in a woman’s life for varicose veins to form. That’s because many factors come together, including the following:
- Hormonal changes, including increased levels of progesterone, make your veins dilate.
- Your body is producing extra blood, which increases the volume and the pressure within your veins.
Can You Treat Varicose Veins While Pregnant?
Following the prevention tips above can certainly help reduce the chance that varicose veins will develop, but there is no sure way to prevent them entirely.
If varicose veins do appear during your pregnancy, the first thing to do is to exercise patience. With regard to treating the veins while pregnant, only emergency vein procedures are performed during pregnancy, and treatment of vein disease rarely qualifies. Said directly, having your varicose veins treated during your pregnancy just won’t happen.
Do Varicose Veins Go Away After Pregnancy?
In most cases, varicose veins will improve after the baby is born. With that being said, some women find that their varicose veins are still painfully visible. If you find yourself in this situation, we can help. Dr. Bardwil is a Houston, Texas, board-certified vascular surgeon and he recommends treatment of your veins between pregnancies. While pregnancy does increase risk for recurrence, time and again grateful mothers have thanked Dr. Bardwil for recommending treatment of their veins between pregnancy, because it made future pregnancies much more bearable. He has helped many mothers eliminate varicose veins, spider veins, among other venous problems.
How Are Varicose Veins Treated?
There are several different treatment options. Every woman’s situation is unique, so Dr. Bardwil conducts a full physical examination, performs a venous ultrasound exam, and together with your medical history, he creates a customized treatment plan specific to you.
While compression stockings will often improve symptoms, the stockings are actually measured and have a gradient so that the pressure is highest in the ankles and less as it goes up the leg. The compression stockings alone will not eliminate varicose veins without the need for any further medical treatment.
Another potential option Dr. Bardwil may discuss is thermal ablation of veins with either a laser or a radio frequency catheter. This is an outpatient procedure that takes place right in our office, so there is no need to visit a hospital. This reduces the risk of exposure to COVID and is also more cost-effective. Recovery times are short, as well.
Getting The Help You Need
There’s no need to struggle with unsightly, painful varicose veins. If your veins have not returned to normal after pregnancy, contact Texas Vein & Cosmetic Specialists. Dr. Bardwil will be happy to provide a consultation on your situation and guidance on how to get the smooth, healthy legs you deserve.