Varicose veins during pregnancy in the legs: causes, symptoms, treatment

Varicose veins are diseases that quickly become chronic. The disease causes a change in the length and diameter of the veins, the appearance of nodules, thinning of the venous walls. Quite often varicose veins appear during pregnancy, when a woman's body has a significant load on the background of hormonal changes.


causes of varicose veins during pregnancy

If we look at the causes of varicose veins during pregnancy, we can distinguish several main ones:

  • Weight change.During pregnancy, veins appear in the legs due to an increase in weight of ten or more kilograms, which leads to an increase in pressure and load on the vessels;
  • Hormonal changes in the body.During the formation of the fetus, the woman's hormonal background is repeatedly restored, which damages the vessels - they lose elasticity, become fragile, prone to varicose veins;

Veins appear in the legs during pregnancy due to weight gain of ten or more kilograms.

  • During pregnancy, the function of the venous valves changes as the volume of circulating blood increases. It should be noted that varicose veins after pregnancy, if left untreated, do not disappear anywhere;
  • Hereditary factors. If one of the parents of a pregnant woman has varicose veins, the chances of her developing the same disease are high;
  • Choosing the wrong clothes and shoes. Sometimes expectant mothers wonder where varicose veins come from without thinking that tight clothes and high-heeled shoes can provoke it;
  • Decreased physical activity. Blood stasis can begin in the veins of the legs during pregnancy if the pregnant woman moves a little and does not do special exercises.

Some of the causes of varicose veins during pregnancy are easy to eliminate - just change your habits.

Symptoms and signs

Varicose veins during pregnancy in the early stages are difficult to detect because there are no symptoms.

why varicose veins appear during pregnancy

However, it is worth contacting your doctor if you have the following symptoms:

  • feeling of heaviness and pain in the legs;
  • swelling, especially in the evening if you sit for a long time;
  • seizures, especially at night;
  • redness or darkening of the skin;
  • the emergence of vascular networks;
  • skin seals, the appearance of trophic ulcers;
  • Inflamed veins during pregnancy are easily felt.

Types of varicose veins during pregnancy

Varicose veins during pregnancy can be of several types. The most common disease is:

  • in the groin;
  • on the legs;
  • in the vagina;
  • in the uterus.

The manifestation of varicose veins in the pelvis has symptoms similar to some gynecological diseases, so it is the most difficult to diagnose. With each pregnancy, the risk of varicose veins of the labia also increases (symptoms are felt most after exercise or intercourse).


Varicose veins and pregnancy have a major impact on a woman's body, causing additional stress to many organs, so it is important to identify the disease at an early stage.

Duplex sonography is now used to detect varicose veins in pregnant women. This modern type of diagnosis has replaced previous ultrasound angioscanning and Doppler imaging. Duplex sonography is performed within twenty minutes and provides detailed information about the condition of both deep and superficial veins.

In some cases, for additional diagnostics, perform:

  • Segmental Doppler.A simple but reliable test that shows the condition of the arteries, establishing their patency and narrowing.
  • how to treat varicose veins in the legs during pregnancy
  • BMR (magnetic resonance venography).If varicose veins are diagnosed during pregnancy, this test allows you to assess the condition of the vessels without using contrast, does not cause any harm to the body.
  • Computed tomography phlebography.Conducted using contrast, it allows you to assess the condition of blood vessels at great depths. If varicose veins have vague symptoms, this type of examination is prescribed.

Disease treatment methods

Not all methods that can be used to treat varicose veins after pregnancy can be used during pregnancy. For example, injections of certain drugs cannot be used during pregnancy and surgery is not always possible. These restrictions also apply to women with varicose veins in the legs, but planning to become pregnant in the next two years.

Surgical treatment

As mentioned earlier, varicose veins during pregnancy are dangerous due to limited treatment options. However, there are situations when medical treatment is not enough, then surgery is performed. For example, if severe thrombophlebitis is expressed or there are non-healing trophic ulcers.

In most cases, surgeries are performed at a gestational age of no more than six months and sclerotherapy or frequency ablation is used, and additional surgeries are performed after pregnancy. In the postoperative period it is prescribed to wear special underwear and therapeutic exercises - these recommendations apply to the postpartum period.

Today, if severe varicose veins are found during pregnancy, they practice using a laser for treatment instead of a scalpel. Modern technology allows you to beat varicose veins quickly and safely.


Doctors are well aware of the dangers of varicose veins, so they recommend that you consult a specialist at the first signs of the disease. In such a situation, a course of venotonic drugs and means to normalize blood density is prescribed. There is also a large selection of special ointments and gels for external use, including those containing ginkgo biloba. All drugs that affect the tone of the veins are serious, so they should be taken only on the schedule recommended by your doctor.

Alternative treatment

People have long been involved in the tandem of "pregnancy and varicose veins", therefore in the past and even today folk methods such as lotions, tinctures, ointments, baths are widely used in treatment. Of course, if the disease has started, then these techniques are considered exclusively as adjunctive therapy, but in the early stages, alternative treatment is quite effective.

Compress tinctures:

folk remedies for the treatment of varicose veins during pregnancy
  • Hop tinctures help to overcome varicose veins in the early stages of pregnancy. You need to take 1 tablespoon of bumps, pour 200 milliliters of boiling water and hold for 20 minutes. The solution is then filtered and used for compresses. Infusions of flowers or leaves of horse chestnut are prepared in a similar way. Such compresses can be applied at night and kept on the feet until morning.
  • The veins during pregnancy are treated with peeled horse chestnut powder: 50 grams of this powder is flooded with 200 milliliters of vegetable oil and the legs are massaged with the resulting composition before bedtime;
  • If early varicose veins are found during pregnancy, scalded cabbage leaves are used for compresses, which relieve inflammation, pain, swelling.

Varicose veins during pregnancy are recommended to be treated with trays with infusions of various medicinal herbs, the choice of which is wide enough in any pharmacy. It is recommended:

  • do not exceed the temperature of the solution in the bath above 38 degrees;
  • take baths for no more than 15 minutes;
  • after the procedure, do a relaxing massage;
  • lie down at the end of the bath for 30-40 minutes with your legs raised.

Varicose veins in pregnant women are also treated with decoctions of herbs that are taken orally:

  • Prepare a decoction of meadow clover flowers: pour 1 tablespoon of chopped flowers in a thermos and pour 400 milliliters of boiling water. After two hours, filter the broth and take ½ cup 4 times a day;
  • You can make a collection of coltsfoot leaves, strawberries and cranberries, motherwort with five blades, as well as flowers of calendula and viburnum. The ingredients are mixed in equal parts, 2 tablespoons of the resulting mixture is poured with 400 milliliters of boiling water and kept for 15 minutes in a water bath. Then you need to keep the collection for 40 minutes in a warm place. Take ½ a glass 4 times a day.

Disease prevention

Varicose veins of the legs, like any disease, should not only be treated, but also preventive measures should be taken to prevent the disease or avoid its recurrence:

  • It is not recommended to sit or stand for a long time. It is preferable to rest on your side to relieve stress from the veins of the legs and small pelvis.
  • To relieve stress on your leg veins, keep your legs raised when lying down or sitting.
  • To lighten the veins in your legs during pregnancy, wear special compression stockings. Such underwear helps to redistribute blood through the veins, stimulates blood in the veins of the legs and reduces the likelihood of blood clots. Compression stockings are recommended to be worn not only during but also after pregnancy, for one and a half to two months.

Remember that varicose veins of the legs are less common in people who exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. Even light exercise helps maintain fitness and reduce the risk of developing varicose veins.