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Is there a chance of getting varicose veins during pregnancy

Blood is circulated in our body by arteries and veins. ‘Varicose veins’ is a condition which affects the veins of the legs and makes them enlarged. This causes overfilling of blood in these veins.

These veins appear dark purple and are clearly visible through the skin. They may become swollen and painful. They may also cause heaviness and discomfort.

Various reasons can trigger varicose veins. These include insufficient physical activity, changing lifestyle, excessive body weight, high fat diet, fast foods and lack of adequate fiber in the diet are some of the underlying causes of varicose veins. Another condition that can trigger varicose veins is pregnancy.

During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes numerous changes. Several modifications occur in the blood circulation of the body. The total amount of blood moving in the body increases. The blood starts moving rather slowly in the area of the waist and the uterus. This increases the pressure in the blood carrying vessels of uterus, lower back, and thighs.

The uterus also enlarges in size so as to provide proper nourishment for the growing baby. Veins are the blood vessels that carry back blood from various parts of the body to the heart. Thus the veins of legs have to work against gravity to pull the blood back to the heart. In pregnancy, the growing uterus puts pressure on all the veins.

Progesterone is a hormone secreted abundantly during pregnancy, which relaxes the blood vessels. All these factors can result in developing varicose veins of calves, thighs and even in the vulvar area.

There’s not much to worry as varicose veins can be temporary and may disappear after childbirth. Some easy measures can keep varicose veins at bay.

Here are some simple ways to avoid varicose veins in pregnancy


Your body should have regular exercise. Your gynecologist may suggest you some exercises in order to keep your body active.

Avoid sedentary positions

You can avoid sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time. Every 20 minutes trying to change your position. Walking is supposed to be one of the best exercises you can do during pregnancy. It allows active movement of the developing baby and ensures good blood flow. Also, try to avoid crossing your legs while you are sitting.

Compression stockings

Your doctor can prescribe you a pair of maternity support hosiery. Try to wear these during the day. These will put pressure on the legs, and stimulate blood to flow upwards from the leg towards the heart. However, avoid wearing very tight hose at all costs.

Relaxing your legs

Stretch your legs by lifting them a foot from the ground. You can also alternately stretch and relax your calf muscles by moving your feet. While lying down you can keep a couple of pillows below your legs. This will help in the upward flow of blood.

Healthy diet

A balanced diet can keep you healthy. Include adequate fiber in your diet. Fresh fruits, whole wheat flour, grains, and vegetables are good sources of fiber. Also, drink plenty of water during the day. This will keep your body weight under normal range and prevent varicose veins.

Most of the times, varicose veins disappear after pregnancy. However, in some cases, these may continue to cause trouble during childbirth. Soreness, pain, and swelling are common symptoms of varicose veins. They can also cause heaviness and discomfort. These veins are often seen and easily felt over the skin of legs. Cramping and itchiness may also be experienced.

If you are experiencing severe pain and heaviness in your legs, it is necessary to visit a vascular surgeon. Dr Abhilash Sandhyala is one of the best vascular surgeons in Hyderabad. He has successfully treated varicose veins for numerous patients.

You can visit Flow Vascular clinic at H.No: 2-22-298/2/A, Sree Krishna Diagnostic Center Building, 2nd Floor, Beside Kalamandir, KPHB Main Road, Kukatpally, Hyderabad. 

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