Varicose Veins During Pregnancy Chicago
The veins throughout our body carry oxygen-depleted blood back to our lungs to be replenished with oxygen. Our arteries then transport this oxygenated blood to our organs and tissues where the oxygen is utilized. This process repeats itself three times per minute, or over 4,000 times per day. Although the circulatory system is designed to handle this incredible amount of blood flow, it is still susceptible to injury.
Arteries have thicker walls than veins do, and move blood with the assistance of pressure provided by the pumping heart (pulse). Veins must fight gravity to return blood to the heart, depending only on the contractions of skeletal muscles to force the blood in the right direction. Because veins lack both pressure and gravitational assistance, they are equipped with valves to prevent the blood from flowing backward.
Varicose Veins Schaumburg
Varicose veins are enlarged and twisted veins that are visible just below the surface of the skin. They are caused by a leaky leaflet valve that does not close completely—allowing the blood to pool in the vein and causing the thin venous wall to bulge. This unsightly, often uncomfortable, and sometimes painful condition can develop anywhere in the body but is usually found in the thighs, ankles, and feet. Varicose veins can cause aching and swelling in the legs, dry, cracked skin around the ankles, and even ulcerative sores.
Why Pregnancy Increases Risk
Pregnancy is a significant risk factor for both spider and varicose veins for several reasons. The circulating hormone progesterone, which promotes the relaxation of blood vessels, weakens venous walls. This, in addition to the increased blood volume necessary to support you and your baby contributes to the formation of varicose veins. To complicate matters, your growing uterus may compress the inferior vena cava (the large vein on the right side of your body)—increasing venous pressure in your legs.
What to Expect
Although you are more likely than not to develop varicose veins during pregnancy, there is a good chance that your veins may return to normal some time after delivery. However, if you have a hereditary predisposition to this condition, pregnancy may simply act as the trigger, and the varicose veins may not reverse themselves. Additionally, when you experience varicose veins during pregnancy, they will return and often worsen if you become pregnant again.
If you are experiencing the discomfort of varicose veins that developed during pregnancy, our expert team at Veins Without Surgery is here to help. You can rely on our knowledge and experience to help eliminate those unsightly varicose veins once and for all. For an informative consultation, book an appointment at any one of our three convenient locations today.