Varicose veins on the legs during pregnancy: what to do?

Pathological dilatation is a common complication of pregnancy associated with certain anatomical and physiological changes in a woman’s body. It usually develops on the legs, brings considerable discomfort and leads to a particular risk associated with intravascular thrombus formation. Treatment during pregnancy also has its own characteristics, which are primarily intended not to harm the embryos.

What is varicose veins, the mechanism of development of pathology

The term «varicose» (in translation from Latin means «swelling») determines the formation of the characteristic extension of the cavity sections of the veins associated with a reduction in the strength of the wall. The mechanism of development of this disease has 2 main components, which include:

  • Decreased strength and elasticity of the vessel wall in which is formed the protrusion.
  • Increase in blood pressure, which accelerates the formation of varicose extensions, especially the weakening of the walls of venous vessels.

This pathology develops under the influence of several causal (etiologic) factors. The most common ones are heredity (defective genes responsible for the strength of the vascular walls, are transmitted by inheritance), bad habits (nicotine and alcohol are toxins, vascular), prolonged exposure of the body standing on the legs (varicose disease often develops in people in certain professions – surgeons, barbers). One of the factors triggering the development of varicose veins is pregnancy.

Why varicose veins developing during pregnancy?

During pregnancy a woman’s body is undergoing significant physiological changes, primarily associated with hormonal changes. For the maintenance of pregnancy and normal development of the fetus luteum of the ovaries secretes the hormone progesterone. This leads to a significant change of a hormonal background (ratio of different hormones) of a woman’s body, the consequence of which is weakening of the walls of blood vessels. In the later stages of pregnancy due to the growth of the fetus, the uterus greatly increases in size, causing compression of the trunk of a large venous vessel that collect blood from small veins of the lower extremities. This squeezing is the cause of rising blood pressure with the subsequent formation of varicose extensions.

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Why are varicose veins more often develop on the feet?

Varicose veins on the legs is the most common manifestation of this type of violation. This is because the human body is in the upright position, which hinders the outflow of blood. When the pressure in the veins and also in reducing the strength of the walls develops valvular insufficiency. The special valves of the inner layer of the vein walls, which should prevent backflow of blood do not perform their functions, which leads to stagnation of blood, pressure increase and formation of protrusions.

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What are the dangers of varicose veins?

Forming extensions of the walls of venous vessels leads to greater stagnation of blood in them, the development of the inflammatory process (phlebitis) with subsequent intravascular thrombosis (thrombophlebitis). The gap formed thrombus leading to embolism (migration in the bloodstream). This can lead to clogging of blood vessels that causes a sharp violation of nutrition of tissues. If a blood clot clogs the artery (coronary vessels) of the heart or brain, developing a myocardial infarction or stroke which may cause severe damage to the functional state of the body and even lead to death. Such complications in a pregnant woman can cause miscarriage or difficult birth, so the varicose veins requires adequate treatment.

What to do with the development of varicose veins in a pregnant woman?

With the appearance of heaviness in the legs and soreness, which intensified in the evening, as well as characteristic nodular extension cyanotic staining with predominant localization in the legs assume the development of varicose veins. These symptoms are the reason for going to the doctor-phlebologist. It is on the basis of the inspection, if necessary, prescribe an additional study, including methods, harmless to the body of the developing fetus, as well as recommendations.

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Treatment of varicose veins in pregnant women

Therapeutic interventions for pregnant women with varicose veins depending on the severity of the pathological process have certain differences. For the prevention of this disease and its treatment mild need the following several simple General recommendations, which include:

  • Diet with reduction of consumption of salt, fat, fried or spicy and spicy foods that weaken the walls of the veins.
  • Limit the duration of a woman’s body in an upright position, standing on his feet.
  • Performance of special physical exercises that improve the tone of veins.
  • Sufficient sleep at least 8 hours a day, the feet should be elevated (put a pillow or cushion under legs).
  • Wearing special compression garment for the legs, which compresses the surface veins, improves blood flow and prevents further formation of abnormal extensions.

With more severe varicose veins recommended medical treatment, including the use of drugs of phlebotonics, anticoagulants, for local use. The choice of drugs is carried out only in conjunction with a gynecologist that will determine their safety for the fetus.

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