Preparing for the birth of a baby is one of the happiest times in a couple’s life. Unfortunately, for some pregnant women, it can also be one of the most uncomfortable. Morning sickness, muscle aches, and general changes in body functioning can all impact your mood and your ability to sleep or perform even simple daily tasks and activities. Varicose veins, those unsightly red, blue, or purple lines that typically appear across the legs and feet, are another common type of problem expectant mothers often experience. At Advanced Vein Therapy, we offer safe, effective treatments to eliminate their appearance. If varicose veins are an issue during your pregnancy, it is important to be aware of how and when to treat them.
How Pregnancy Increases the Likelihood of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are a common problem for both men and women. They often occur due to the following reasons:
- Due to hereditary factors;
- As a result of weight gain;
- Due to standing on your feet for long periods;
- As a result of leading a generally sedentary lifestyle.
Varicose veins are caused by problems with blood flow through the vein valves. In healthy veins, valves allow blood to move freely from the heart throughout the various parts of the body. When the flaps that regulate blood flow on these valves become damaged, blood can pool within the vein as a result. This is what causes the appearance of varicose veins beneath the skin’s surface. Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding pregnancy make them more likely to appear.
In pregnant women, the expanding uterus applies pressure to the inferior vena cava, a large vein that carries blood from the heart to the feet and legs. Varicose veins often appear in these areas, as well as in the groin area or the anus in the form of hemorrhoids. Varicose veins are unlikely to have any adverse effects on your overall health or your current condition, but they are symptoms of underlying venous disease. They are unsightly and can make you self-conscious about your appearance during a time when you are already struggling to accept the radical changes in your body. In some cases, they may even itch, bulge, or also be somewhat painful, depending on their location.
Managing Varicose Veins When You Are Expecting
Varicose veins are a common issue during pregnancy but may fade within several months of giving birth. As a result, expectant mothers are often discouraged from seeking treatment. Varicose vein treatments are safe, highly effective, and relatively painless, but there are certain risks in undergoing any type of medical procedure during your pregnancy.
It is important to consult with your obstetrician about any matters impacting your health. If they advise delaying treatment, the following steps can help manage varicose veins during this time:
- Get regular exercise. Stretching and short walks are helpful, but make sure and get your doctor’s approval first.
- Eat a healthy diet. In general, avoid fatty foods and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods. Routinely change your position.
- Elevate your legs. This improves blood flow and can help with other issues, such as sore muscles.
Be aware, though, that the above will not eliminate varicose veins, and there are cases where they may become swollen, hard, or painful. Report these or other symptoms to your doctor immediately so that the proper treatments can be recommended.
When to Obtain Treatment For Varicose Veins
Advanced Vein Therapy has been a trusted provider for the treatment of varicose veins in our area for more than 20 years. Once your pregnancy is over or if your doctor recommends immediate treatment, we can guide you in the many options available. These include:
- Venaseal: During this procedure, medical glue is injected into the varicose vein. This seals it and encourages blood flow to other areas.
- Sclerotherapy: This involves injecting a foamy solution into the vein, causing it to shrink and disappear from view.
- Endovenous Laser Treatments (EVLT): This procedure uses a thin fiber and light waves to close and seal the vein.
- Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): This treatment relies on radio waves to collapse varicose veins and encourage blood flow in other areas.
All of the above procedures can be performed easily in our office. You can generally resume all your regular activities, including work or taking care of a new baby immediately afterward.
Contact Advanced Vein Therapy
Advanced Vein Therapy can help eliminate your varicose veins. Contact our Boise office to schedule a consultation today.