Varicose veins are swollen blood vessels that may be itchy, and are visible when the swelling is so significant that the veins protrude through the skin. They are most commonly observed in the legs.
What causes it?
Varicose veins occur because of the massive increase in blood circulation throughout your body while you are pregnant, and generally affect the legs as it takes extra effort on the heart’s behalf to pump blood back against gravity. With the added pressure on the vessels in your legs, varicose veins are likely to occur.
Even if you exercise enough, maintain good circulation, and properly manage your weight throughout pregnancy, varicose veins can still show up. Most varicose veins will disappear after you give birth, but some may persist for an unlucky few. There are both surgical, and non-invasive options that healthcare providers can utilize to treat and remove the veins after delivery.
- Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. “Varicose veins and pregnancy: Legs and more.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 4/10/2013. Web.
- “Varicose veins and spider veins fact sheet.” Womenshealth.gov. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 7/16/2012. Web.