When the veins become swollen, it is called varicose veins. These veins usually protrude beneath the surface of the skin and in the majority of cases, they appear in the legs and are blue or purple in color. However, they also may occur in other parts of the body, such as vulva, for example. Piles or hemorrhoids are also varicose veins in the anal area, precisely the veins in the anal canal.
In most cases, these swollen veins may cause pain in the legs that tends to aggravate at night, especially if a woman spends much time on her legs. Furthermore, the skin around the varicose veins may become itchy and burning.
Varicose veins in pregnancy
Although the pregnancy is the period in a woman’s life that is the most beautiful, there are many problems and uneasiness that a pregnant woman must deal with. One of these discomforts is painful varicose veins. When a woman is pregnant, she gains weight, which makes additional pressure on the veins. Particularly, the growing womb makes strong pressure on the vein on the right side of the body, which is called the inferior vena cava. This vein consequently puts pressure on the veins in the legs.
In pregnancy, every woman faces many changes in her body due to the hormones. In this period, the volume of the blood is increased, as well as the level of the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the walls of the blood vessels. Therefore, pregnant women are prone to the development of varicose veins. This condition is more common in women than in men, and usually tends to run in family, so if a mother has varicose veins it is very likely that her daughter will have them also. Furthermore, varicose veins become worse with aging, after standing for long periods and with gaining weight. Fortunately, if a woman did not have varicose veins before her pregnancy, they usually improve after the childbirth.
Prevention of varicose veins in pregnancy
There are several things that a pregnant woman can do in order to prevent this condition or relieve the symptoms. It is highly recommended for her to exercise regularly. Every pregnant woman should walk every day at least 15 minutes, since walking is very beneficial for the improvement of blood circulation. Furthermore, it is important to maintain the appropriate body weight for each stage of the pregnancy and not to become overweighed. Crossing the legs when sitting should be avoided as well as standing for a long period of time. The legs should be elevated whenever it is possible. Moreover, it is recommended to slip on the left side at night.