Single vs. Multiple Pregnancies and Varicose Veins
Having children can be the most significant event in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, even smooth, healthy pregnancies can take their toll on the female body. One common complaint from women post-delivery is the formation of varicose veins on the lower legs and vaginal area. The more pregnancies a woman has, the greater the varicose vein problem may become.
How Varicose Veins Develop
Varicose veins are the visible result of a condition known as venous insufficiency. Tiny valves in the veins are responsible for keeping blood flowing in one direction – back to the heart. Over time, these valves can become damaged, allowing blood to reflux back into the vein. This results in the swelling of the veins and the appearance of those bulging, twisting lines known as varicose veins.
The Link between Pregnancy and Varicose Veins
Two pregnancy-related factors can increase a woman’s risk for developing varicose veins. First, hormonal fluctuations relax the vein walls to allow for the additional blood flow that occurs during those nine months. The pressure of the expanding belly also strains the valves inside the veins, causing them to wear out more quickly. Varicose veins during pregnancy are also hereditary to some extent, so if your mother developed varicose veins while carrying you, chances are greater you will develop the veins as well.
The Twin Dilemma
Women carrying multiple babies may find the varicose vein problem to be even more pronounced. Why? First, blood vessels tend to relax even more when a woman is carrying twins, leaving the valves more vulnerable to damage. Second, the expanding uterus expands even more when there are multiple babies inside, adding additional stress to the veins in the lower legs.
Multiple Pregnancies, Permanent Problems?
If varicose veins develop during a first pregnancy, there is a good chance those veins will shrink and even disappear altogether a few months after your baby is born. However, subsequent pregnancies can add more stress to the veins and the valves inside, causing permanent damage in some cases. If varicose veins do not disappear within a few months after pregnancy, treatments are available today to eliminate those unsightly and often painful diseased veins.
At Advanced Varicose Veins Treatments of Manhattan, Dr. Ronald Lev offers a variety of treatment options to eliminate varicose veins and their accompanying symptoms. Women are typically advised to wait a few months after a pregnancy before pursuing varicose vein treatments. At that time, Dr. Lev is happy to discuss treatment options customized to the individual patient’s needs and desired outcome. To learn more about varicose vein treatment, contact Dr. Lev at 646-395-3564.