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General Practice 2023

Varicose veins in pregnancy: symptoms, treatment and how to avoid

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Varicose veins in pregnancy: symptoms, treatment and how to avoid
Varicose veins in pregnancy: symptoms, treatment and how to avoid

Varicose veins in pregnancy tend to appear more frequently in the last 3 months of pregnancy, due to an increase in the volume of blood circulating in the body, weight gain, hormonal changes and the pressure of the uterus on the veins.

During this period, varicose veins appear more frequently on the legs, as the weight of the baby in the belly makes it difficult for blood to circulate correctly, with a feeling of heaviness in the leg and swelling. In addition to the legs, varicose veins can also appear in the groin, intimate area and uterus, however this situation is less frequent.


Symptoms of varicose veins in pregnancy

The main symptoms of varicose veins in pregnancy are:

  • Pain in legs or groin;
  • Heaviness in the legs;
  • Swollen legs at the end of the day,
  • Itching in the varicose veins;
  • Alteration of leg sensitivity.

If the legs become very swollen, red and warmer, it is important for the woman to look for an angiologist so that the diagnosis can be made and the appropriate treatment started, as it could be phlebitis, which is a serious situation that corresponds to the presence of a blood clot inside the vein, preventing blood flow. Understand what phlebitis is, symptoms and treatment.

How to be treated

Treatment for varicose veins in pregnancy can be done with alternating application of hot and cold water on the site, during the bath. In addition, to take care of legs with varicose veins, pregnant women can place an ice pack on their legs, as it helps to constrict the veins and reduce pain. In some cases, the doctor may also indicate the use of compression stockings, to prevent the appearance of varicose veins and help with blood circulation.

Usually varicose veins in pregnancy disappear after pregnancy, however, if there is permanent damage, after pregnancy the woman can undergo laser treatment or surgery to remove the varicose veins. Check out the treatment options for varicose veins.

How to prevent varicose veins in pregnancy

Varicose veins in pregnancy appear mainly due to hormonal changes, however it is possible to avoid their appearance by adopting some precautions, such as:

  • Don't stand for a long time;
  • Avoid crossing your legs when sitting;
  • Elevate your legs while sleeping;
  • Massage your feet and legs at the end of the day;
  • Wear elastic stockings during the day.

Furthermore, it is important that women do regular physical exercise under the guidance of a physical education professional to increase the resistance of the veins and prevent them from dilating.

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