Pregnancy causes many changes to occur –– both physical and emotional –– including increased blood volume, a rapidly growing uterus, and a rise in hormone levels. Along with all of these changes also comes the increased risk for vein disease, which can result in the appearance of spider veins and varicose veins. Check out the reasons behind the link between vein disease and pregnancy.
Increased hormone levels
Pregnant women develop increased levels of progesterone, which can cause the vein walls to expand and relax. This can lead to additional swelling and bulging of the veins.
Higher blood volume
Pregnancy significantly increases the amount of blood you have traveling through your veins. When the veins return blood from the extremities back up to the heart, there is increased pressure on the one-way valves that keep the blood flowing the right direction. These valves can weaken and fail, leading to varicose veins and spider veins.
Pressure on the inferior vena cava
As the uterus changes and develops, added pressure is often put on the inferior vena cava (the major vein that carries blood from the lower body back to the heart). This puts more strain on the veins and increases blood pressure in the legs.
Factors that can increase your risk
You are more likely to develop vein disease if other members of your family have a history of varicose veins and spider veins. Symptoms are known to worsen with each successive pregnancy, and as you age. Being overweight, carrying multiples, and standing for long periods of time can also make you more susceptible to vein problems.
Fortunately, varicose veins and spider veins tend to improve after you give birth, especially if you didn’t have them prior to becoming pregnant. Dr Gilvydis can help you get back to your baseline of vein health, so the threat of venous insufficiency and varicose veins complications will be lessened. If you’re concerned about the health of your veins, call the vein specialists at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic today at 855-591-1357 to schedule your next consultation.