Oh! The things they never tell you about pregnancy! When you are in the throws of baby fever, you hear friends and female relatives telling you about how wonderful being pregnant is and what a miracle it is. Yes, they might mention the morning sickness, but that is a given as it is featured in TV shows and movies all the time so we are psychologically prepared for it. But there are aspects of pregnancy about which no one breathes a word. Among the list of unmentionables are varicose veins and hemorrhoids, which are merely varicose veins around your rectum and vulvar varicosities which are swollen veins around your vulva. Yes, we went there, and it’s only the first paragraph, but now you know why you don’t hear talk about these topics over your decaf pregnancy latte. You can trust us at VenoCure for the most effective and up-to-date treatment of varicose veins in the Dearborn and Brownstown areas.  We will treat them, and you, with the sensitivity you require of something so personal and painful. In this week’s blog, we will look at the connection varicose veins, hemorrhoids and their connection to pregnancy.

Pregnancy and Varicose Veins

If you are just figuring out if what you have qualifies as varicose veins, a good definition is important to have. We will cover some commonly asked questions when someone is trying to figure out if they have varicose veins. If you suspect you do, or your OB/GYN has told you that you do, call Venocure to find out how we can help you.

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are veins that are twisted, discolored and swollen.  

How are they identified?

  • They appear dark blue or purple in color and veins of any size can be described as varicose, from tiny so-called spider veins to large, protruding veins on your legs.
  • Symptoms include aching, throbbing, and itching that worsens after sitting for awhile.
  • Spider veins are often red or blue and can appear anywhere from your face to your ankles.
  • They are often visible in the area behind the knees and ankles but also can appear along the thighs and calves.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

  • When blood can’t easily flow back up the logs to the heart, it tends to pool where it is. At it pools, it swells and creates little twists in the veins which make it easier for the blood to pool in the future.

Why does Pregnancy Make Varicose Veins Worse?

When you are pregnant, your body processes the blood of your baby as well as your own. Because your body is now circulating the blood of two people, your veins are pushed to capacity.  

Additionally, the weight of the baby and the amniotic fluid pushes downward and tends to compress the veins bringing blood back up from the legs, effectively trapping it in your extremities.

What do you mean Hemorrhoids are Varicose Veins? And Vulvar What?

  • Among the many indignities that a woman experiences during pregnancy, the ones that remain taboo are rectal and vulvar varicose veins.
  • The baby is positioned precisely to block the return flow from these areas, so you’ll have to help it by using some of the tips we spell out below.
  • Rest assured, many of your pregnant friends have also experienced these. You are not alone.

The First Line of Defense

  • There are a number of things you should do on your own while you are waiting for your appointment with your doctor. You may be able to lessen them to the extent that you can wait out your pregnancy and see if they improve after the baby is born.
  • Lessening the pressure on your veins is the best thing you can do to minimize pain and swelling. This mean putting your feet up, literally. Elevate your feet above your heart at least ten minutes every hour.
  • If you can find someone to help physically push the blood down your elevated legs, you will want to marry them, if you have not already done so.
  • For vulvar varicose veins elevate your hips as well.
  • Start with regular support stockings and if need be, move on to special compression stockings. Put them on before your first step out of bed in the morning and wear them all day.
  • Make sure your underpants have non-constricting elastic on the legs.
  • For vulvar varicose veins use a garment that helps support your belly and lower abdomen.
  • If your veins do not improve in the months after your baby is born, call our office for an appointment to see how we can help you.
  • For temporary relief, go swimming or take a deep bath that allows the baby’s weight to be lifted for a while.
  • Cold Compresses can ease the pain of swollen vulvar veins and hemorrhoids.
  • For hemorrhoids, use over the counter treatments, witch hazel and adjust your diet. Constipation exacerbates hemorrhoids, so lots of oatmeal and other high-fiber meals will help ease the pain. Use a stool softener if needed.

If you need more help during your pregnancy, call us for an appointment. If you can wait until after your pregnancy to see if your body bounces back, do so. Many women’s veins and circulation return to pre-pregnancy states after their baby is born. If your legs still have swollen and twisting veins, call us for diagnosis and possible treatment.