Pregnancy

Common questions and complaints relating to veins and pregnancy are:

  • “Can I treat my veins?
  • “I am pregnant” or “I am planning to get pregnant. What can I do?
  • “I am pregnant and have unsightly painful legs”

Specialist Vein Care can help!

Background
Many women first develop unsightly varicose and smaller superficial veins during pregnancy or find their existing ones get worse. These may just be unsightly or actually cause symptoms such as discomfort, itchiness, dull throb or a burning feeling. Often this is worse near the end of the day.

Veins tend to get worse with each successive pregnancy and also tend to be worse if you are pregnant with twins or triplets. The good news is that the veins that appear during pregnancy can improve significantly within 3 months after delivery, often with no treatment being necessary.

Treatment of varicose veins is not performed during pregnancy as they are generally harmless in the short term. If your veins have not returned to their normal state 3 months after delivery, you can then decide whether to seek treatment.

When should I treat them? 
Not during pregnancy. Wait about 3 months after delivery before deciding if the veins are too uncomfortable to live with or their appearance worries you.

If treatment is necessary, then you do not have to wait until having completed your family before having treatment. Treatment can easily be performed between pregnancies.

Are Varicose Veins Serious? 
Varicose veins are generally harmless in the short term and so treatment, if necessary, can usually wait until after pregnancy.

A small number of pregnant women who have varicose veins develop small blood clots in the veins under the skin surface (a condition called superficial thrombophlebitis).

If this occurs then the vein may feel hard and rope-like, with the skin often appearing red, and feeling hot and tender.

What Can Specialist Vein Care Offer? 
After a medical history and discreet examination, a Duplex ultrasound of your legs is performed to determine the cause and extent of the venous problem.

Thereafter, advice regarding prevention and support in your particular circumstance can be provided. Often, support stockings are a recommended treatment.

What can I do to Minimise Damage to my Veins During Pregnancy?

  • Regular exercise
  • Avoid excessive weight gain, if possible. Try to stay within the recommended weight range for your stage of pregnancy
  • Elevate your feet and legs as much as is practical
  • Try to avoid standing or sitting for extended periods of time
  • Sleep on your left side. This is because the inferior vena cava, the vein that drains the blood back from your legs, is on the right side. This position helps relieve the weight of your baby in the uterus on this vein
  • Wear support stockings during the day
  • After delivery try to continue with the above for up to 3 months
Pregnancy

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Credentials

Specialist Vein Care in Melbourne
provides state of the art techniques in the diagnosis & treatment of varicose & spider vein diseases