When a woman is pregnant, her blood volume increases by about fifty percent during the second and third trimester. This puts a lot of extra pressure on her veins. Remember too that veins are much more thin walled than arteries so they will begin to bulge out with all this extra blood pulsating through them. Because of this, many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy so it’s logical that many of them ask, “Should I get varicose vein treatment after pregnancy?”
The answer to this question depends on several factors which are best answered by an experienced vascular doctor who specializes in varicose vein treatment. It is possible to get a free evaluation and consultation at Metro Vein Centers after your pregnancy to go over these issues. The doctors at Metro Vein Centers can also use duplex ultrasound to get a three dimensional view of the veins deep in your legs and elsewhere. In this way, you can learn much more about what’s actually causing your varicose veins than you could guess by just looking at the varicose veins visible through your skin.
In some cases, varicose veins will go away, or at least reduce in size, after pregnancy without varicose vein treatment. So, at the very least, you may want to wait a few months before seeking varicose vein treatment to see if they will go away on their own. However, you should also be aware that the chance of this happening with be lower if you are overweight, stand a lot, or have a family history of varicose veins. If you are overweight, you can try losing weight to see if this will help. You can also try standing less and elevating your legs when you sit. If none of this helps, you may want to go ahead and seek varicose vein treatment, especially if your legs or other parts of your body hurt, itch, or swell.
Some vascular doctors will advise a woman to wait until she has had all the children she wants to have before she seeks varicose vein treatment. The reasoning behind this advice is that most women who develop varicose veins during pregnancy usually develop them again when they get pregnant again. Moreover, the varicose veins may be even worse in future pregnancies. On the other hand, you may want to get a duplex ultrasound by a vascular doctor BEFORE you get pregnant again to make sure you can do so safely. Remember that you cannot necessarily tell how bad varicose veins are just by looking at them at them through the surface of your skin. The doctor will look for venus reflux, where the blood flows backwards in your veins. He or she will also look for any signs of clotting which can be potentially very serious and may be advisable to be corrected before you get pregnant again.
To ease your varicose veins during pregnancy, a woman can lie down on her side. This will ease the impact of gravity and give her veins a much needed rest. The same is true after pregnancy. In fact, this can actually help the varicose veins reduce themselves in some cases. It’s also important to keep up with exercise both during pregnancy and after pregnancy to encourage circulation and exercise the leg muscles that can physically help the veins return blood to the heart. Gentle walking is all that is needed here.
Spider veins, essentially varicose capillaries, also rear their ugly head during pregnancy. Varicose vein treatment like pulsed light therapy can easily eliminate these spider veins but you may want to wait to see if they will disappear on their own. Spider veins, more than varicose veins, often do disappear after you have the baby.
Pregnant women frequently develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy too. What many people don’t know is that hemorrhoids are actually varicose veins of the rectum. Hemorrhoids develop for the same reasons that varicose veins develop in the legs during pregnancy. However, they also develop because as the uterus expands with the growing baby, it presses against the veins in the pelvic region. Hemorrhoids can be quite painful and truly interfere with everyday life tasks so they should be treated if they don’t go away. In many cases, the same doctor you use for your varicose vein treatment can also treat your hemorrhoids.
Whether you decide to undergo varicose vein treatment after pregnancy or not, be sure to give it a little time before you make your final decision. Also, try to get an exam with duplex ultrasound and have a qualified doctor give you the information you need to make the decision. Good luck!