Varicose veins are enlarged superficial veins, most commonly occurring in the legs or ankles. They are caused by weakening of the valves in the veins, and result from blood pooling in the veins due to these valves not functioning properly. [b]Varicose veins[/b] are characterized by a blueish, swollen and twisted appearance. They are not necessarily associated with any symptoms. In some cases, [b]varicose veins[/b] are accompanied by aches, tiredness, itching, or a heavy feeling in the legs; and, in more severe cases, leg pain and swelling, as well as skin problems in the affected area, such as color changes, dryness, inflammation and scaling, may occur.

In particular, [b]varicose vein problems[/b] are highly common during pregnancy. This phenomenon can be attributed to a number of things. Firstly, during pregnancy, the mother’s blood supply is increased in order to supply both her and the growing fetus, and the speed at which the blood returns from the legs up to the pelvis is reduced; this in turn can result in bulging of the veins. Secondly, as the uterus grows, additional pressure is put on the large veins on the right side of your body, which consequently results in increased pressure in the veins in the legs as well. Thirdly, increased levels of progesterone, an endogenous hormone involved in maintaining pregnancy, can result in the veins becoming more dilated. Thus, reducing the pressure of the blood flow, and increasing the risk of the blood pooling in the veins.

How Can Varicose Veins be Treated During Pregnancy?

In general, [b]varicose veins[/b] that develop during pregnancy will disappear on their own within three to 12 months after delivery. Hence, varicose vein removal is  not recommended during pregnancy or immediately after. Of course, if the symptoms are severe, you should discuss your options in terms of [b]varicose vein removal[/b] with a vein care specialist. VeinInnovations recommends a visit at 6 weeks post partum if the varicose veins have not reduced in size and are resulting in heavy, tired legs.

Treatment is usually recommended after 6 weeks post partum if the veins have not decompressed. During pregnancy, wearing medical grade compression garments can be helpful for reducing swelling and painful legs. If there is swelling in one leg at any time during the pregnancy, this could be a symptom of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Deep Vein Thrombosis is a life threatening condition and you should seek immediate medical attention if:

1) Swelling in one or both legs.Vein Innovations-Who Suffers From Vein Disease?

2) Pain or tenderness in one or both legs, which may occur only while standing or walking.

3) Warmth in the skin of the affected leg.

4) Red or discolored skin in the affected leg.