Every expecting mother, along with enjoying in her blessed state, must cope with many discomforts during the nine months of pregnancy. Apart from morning sickness, nausea, vomiting, mood swings, which are the most common pregnancy problems, the swollen ankles are also a condition typical for pregnancy. It is estimated that even 90% of pregnant woman experience swollen ankles in early pregnancy or later.
Causes of swollen ankles in pregnancy
Edema is the medical term for the occurrence of swollen ankle, feet and toes. One of the major causes for the occurrence of edema in pregnancy is excessive water retention. It is quite normal that the fluids in the body increase in pregnancy since the larger amounts are necessary for the proper health of the mother and the baby. However, sometimes the body is not able to flush out these fluids as it should, therefore, the water remains in the tissues of the body causing swelling of the ankles in the pregnant woman.
Swollen ankles in pregnancy also occur due to the pressure, which the growing uterus makes on the veins in the pelvis. Because of this pressure, the blood collects and the fluids go down to the tissues of the ankle.
Symptoms of swollen ankles in pregnancy
The ankles that are swollen are usually bluish in color. Apart from the ankles, feet, toes and even knees may also swell. It is characteristic that swollen ankles usually appear at night and completely disappear in the morning. Furthermore, this condition tends to become worse in the summer months.
When the symptoms are mild, then there is no reason to worry. On the other side, when the swollen ankles in pregnancy are accompanied by swelling or bloating of the hands and face, that can be a sign of the condition called pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a serious condition that usually appears in the final three months of the pregnancy and is caused by high blood sugar levels. The pregnant women who notice the symptoms of pre-eclampsia should immediately seek medical attention.
Treatment of swollen ankles in pregnancy
A pregnant woman should avoid sitting or standing for a long period of time. It is recommended to take rest and to sleep properly, while yoga or other pregnancy exercises are highly advisable. Walking in the morning and in the evening, as well as the stretching of the calf muscles is very important in order to get rid of the swollen ankles. Every pregnant woman should drink a lot of water, since it is important for the prevention of water retention in the body.