varicose

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Pregnancy Symptom: Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins

What It Looks Like

Varicose veins look like swollen veins raised above the surface of the skin, but they are actually just below the skin. They can be twisted or bulging and are dark purple or blue in color. They are found most often on the backs of the calves or on the inside of the leg. They are also commonly found in the anus, an less commonly in the vulva. 

Why do you get varicose veins?

During pregnancy blood volume increases greatly and the weight of your developing baby and growing uterus puts extra pressure on your veins. This can cause veins to enlarge. Plus, pressure on the large veins behind the uterus causes the blood to slow in its return to the heart. Pregnancy hormones also relax the vein walls, allowing them to expand more easily. For these reasons, varicose veins in the legs and anus (hemorrhoids) are more common in pregnancy.

How To Prevent Varicose Veins

  • Don't stand for too long. 
  • Put your feet up.
  • Wear pregnancy support hose.
  • Get a gentle massage. But if you do have varicose veins, do not massage that area. 
  • Don't get your legs waxed. 
There is typically no risk to your baby. 

 

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