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Will varicose veins go away after pregnancy?

This is a question we get asked a lot. Some women may notice varicose veins for the first time during pregnancy, or experience increasing symptoms as their pregnancy develops. Why does this happen? While pregnancy doesn’t cause varicose veins, if a woman is already predisposed to this disease, pregnancy can be the time that these malfunctioning veins choose to reveal themselves. 

Pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on the venous system. The growing weight of the baby presses on the blood vessels in the pelvis and can alter blood flow. Pregnant women also have increased blood flow, which can put undue pressure on veins that aren’t performing correctly. The medical term for this is “Venous Insufficiency”, veins that are leaky, and no longer performing their role of carrying blood from the feet back up to the heart correctly. This can cause the blood in these malfunctioning veins to pool, resulting in large, often visible, varicose veins.

So will they go away after pregnancy? Unfortunately they won’t. You may experience some relief, where the veins don’t appear as “bad” as you endured for those 9 months. However, the underlying issue can remain –  the veins are faulty and will continue to be so until they’re treated. You will also likely experience the same or worsening symptoms with subsequent pregnancies.

Here’s some interesting facts to take away about varicose vein disease and pregnancy:

  • Varicose veins affects up to 15 percent of women in pregnancy
  • There’s a higher risk factor of developing them if you’re over the age of 35
  • There’s an increased risk if you have a family history of varicose veins
  • If you have a personal history with varicose veins, these will likely worsen with each pregnancy

Symptoms to look out for when pregnant:

  • Heavy legs
  • Restless legs
  • Achy legs
  • Swelling
  • Discolouration
  • Painful or itchy legs

So when should you make an appointment? Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your last, if your veins are worrying you, come and see us. Our treatments are completely customised to each patient and their medical history. By examining you in person we will be able to suggest a treatment plan that’s right for you. We welcome self referrals, you can refer yourself here.