In Varicose Veins and Pregnancy - Part 1, we discussed the reasons why many women suffer the symptoms of varicose veins during pregnancy. We also learned that some women note that the problem veins continue to bother them after pregnancy. The veins have often been stretched beyond their ability to return to normal. Patients are told to defer any treatment until they are done having children.
Vein Health Considerations for Women of Child-Bearing Age
My advice on what women of child-bearing age should do is broken down into 2 categories:
1- What should you do if you are pregnant?
2- What should you do if you are not pregnant but are suffering from painful, tired, aching legs associated with ugly, unsightly veins yet still plan to have more children?
If you are pregnant you now understand the problems your veins will encounter very soon [see last article]. Naturally, it makes sense to take precautions to preserve your vein function if at all possible. First, work closely with the doctor who is monitoring your pregnancy to control your weight, and thus your circulating blood volume. Too much blood volume is bad for your veins; too little is bad for the baby.
Using Support Hose to Help with Vein Changes
Nothing can be done about the increase in female hormones. However, in anticipation of vein changes, the patient can go to a vein specialist and obtain some thigh high support hose that have been appropriately measured to fit the individual patient. The doctor can also recommend the amount of pressure that should be applied. These stockings can be worn during the day beginning near the end of the 3rd month, and even earlier if the patient began the pregnancy with bad veins. These stockings can markedly reduce the symptoms and markedly reduce the progression of damage to the venous system.
Options for Better Vein Circulation
Regular walking 30 minutes twice a day is good, activating the muscle pump in the legs and helping to return blood to the heart. Elevating the legs twice a day with the heels higher than the hips helps drain and decompress the veins in the lower extremities.
Placing a standard red brick under the bedposts at the foot of the bed will allow gravity to work in the patient’s favor during the night, combating and removing any swelling that accumulated during the day. A red brick is only about 3 inches high and will not be noticed. If prolonged sitting or standing has to occur, doing frequent heel-raises with tightening of the calf muscles is another method to help the venous circulation.
If you are having vein trouble after your last pregnancy, you should see a vein specialist. This is true even if you plan to get pregnant in the future. If you are not pregnant, but had considerable suffering during your last pregnancy you should see a vein specialist before your next pregnancy.
Decrease Vein Problems During Your Pregnancy
Today’s modern diagnoses can pinpoint the vein problem with amazing accuracy. Minimally invasive methods can treat the bad veins without hospitalization, general anesthesia, and with no down-time. There is minimal if any pain. Vein stripping is not recommended.
There is no need to suffer needlessly during or after pregnancy. Patients can be easily treated before future pregnancies with safety. After appropriate treatment patients can look forward to further pregnancies with significantly less symptoms or problems from their leg veins.