How Pregnancy Effects Your Leg Veins

Pregnancy is both an exciting and fascinating time in a woman’s life but it also can have dramatic effects on your leg veins. Dr. Lee G. Schulman M.D. of the Schulman Vein And Laser Centers Of Long Island And NYC, likes to joke that ‘you can blame both your parents and your kids for your having varicose veins. It’s the ideal family guilt disease- everybody is at fault.’

Many patients seen for varicose veins have a strong family history of them. While it’s not truly a genetic condition like other medical illnesses, there is often a long history of bulging veins in the family. While not ever fully documented it seems that more patients blame their father then their mother but again its never been fully researched. Others will some in to a vein specialists clinic and say they can remember their grandparents having veins or even leg ulcers and always wrapping their legs. This was done for symptomatic relief and maybe also as a way to treat venous leg ulcers.

Getting back to pregnancy and varicose veins, its often childbearing that is blamed for the worsening of leg veins. While pregnant you have a multitude of different issues all helping contribute to the development of varicosities. There are obviously large increases in certain pregnancy hormones concentrations. This is vital for the health of both the baby and the mother for many reasons. While hormones work to help loosen the pelvis of an expectant mother they also help to ‘loosen’ the veins and allow them to become more engorged.

There is a large increase in the blood volume during pregnancy. This is because there is a large and growing uterous that needs nutrients and oxygen. All that additional blood puts more pressure on the veins which also leads to their worsening as a pregnancy progresses.

It’s extremely common for veins to become more varicose as a pregnancy proceeds. This is very natural as the increasing weight of the uterus and the baby are both contributing to putting more pressure on the legs. Being that the legs are anatomically below the uterus and heart, any increased resistance will only work to impede blood flow back upwards to the heart. More force from the ever enlarging (in both size and weight) uterus also acts to push pressure downward into the veins of the legs.

If you are pregnant or just have veins as a result of pregnancy you may wish to be evaluated by a vein specialist doctor. The doctors at the Schulman Vein And Laser Centers of Long Island And NYC are full time vein-only specialists who can examine your legs and explain treatment options to you.

You can be seen in our Manhattan, NYC office or in Long Island and have all your questions personally answered by our doctors.