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Why Do Women Get Varicose Veins When Pregnant?

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Pregnancy is a life-changing, mind-blowing experience. However, it can come with discomforts. If you ask the average person, they would say nausea is the most common discomfort that comes with pregnancy. While they are correct, not much information is known by the general public about the swelling on the legs during pregnancy- a condition known as varicose veins.

Varicose veins are characterised by swollen, painful feet and ankles, discoloration, fatigue and discomfort, and an inability to stand for long periods. This article will teach you more information you should know about the condition. So, please ensure to read to the end.

But why is this condition linked with pregnancy?

Many physiological changes happen in a pregnant woman. Some of these can affect proper circulation. Veins are one-way carries of blood. Some of these changes can affect how veins carry blood and cause varicose veins. Listed below are some of the top six reasons

Hormonal factors

During pregnancy, the level of the hormone progesterone spikes. This can lead to increased relaxation of the veins in such a manner that allows more significant volumes of blood to be present in these vessels, leading to varicose veins.

Increased volume of blood

The blood volume in a pregnant woman generally increases, which can also increase the pressure leading to the expansion of veins to reduce the pressure, which can cause pooling.

Pressure from the developing foetus

As the foetus in the womb continues to grow and develop, there is an increased strain on the pelvic blood vessels. This can construct the pelvic vessels. Other vessels, such as the leg vessels, dependent on the pelvic vessels to drain blood, are then affected.

Weight gain

Being overweight or obese is a common risk factor for varicose veins. During pregnancy, the woman tends to eat more than usual and gains a lot of fat. This sudden weight gain can cause circulatory problems affecting the veins of the leg.

Sedentary lifestyle

As a pregnant woman, it is easy to feel fatigued and want to rest all the time, but that can be bad for your health. Sitting or standing for long periods makes it easy to develop varicose veins.


If you have a family history of varicose veins and are pregnant, there is a high chance of developing varicose veins.

What you can do to alleviate the symptoms if you have varicose veins and are pregnant

The good news about varicose veins in pregnancy is that it goes away after the end. You may not have to treat it, but the symptoms aren't going anywhere. Here are a few tips for pregnant women.

Exercise your legs frequently.

  • Exercises that target the legs are suitable for pregnant women to maintain proper blood flow.

  • Don't stand or sit for long periods.

  • Standing or sitting for a long time can increase pressure on your leg and pelvic veins and cause them to weaken.

  • Elevate your legs above chest level frequently

  • Use maternity support.

  • Watch your diet and food intake to prevent becoming overweight or obese.


Health professionals recommend minimally invasive treatments with short recovery time and, sometimes, surgery. If you're experiencing any form of bleeding or ulceration, arrange an appointment with a Gold Coast vascular surgeon as soon as possible.


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