Methods for treating varicose veins during pregnancy

During pregnancy, a woman's body receives additional stress. Blood circulation deteriorates, the lower limbs swell. Varicose veins are observed on the legs, in the small pelvis and on the genitals.

Varicose veins during pregnancy are an optional symptom and only occur in 30% of women. Let's take a closer look at how to prevent varicose veins and what causes the disease.

Features and danger of the disease

Varicose veins are a pathology of the venous system. With a disease, the veins expand, tortuosity appears, the valve apparatus loses some of its functionality. In the first stage of the disease, symptoms appear:

  1. The formation of small vascular networks under the skin;
  2. The veins under the skin swell in places;
  3. Knots are formed;
  4. When pressing on the pathological area, the woman feels pain;
  5. There is heaviness in the legs, in the evening the limbs swell.
examination of the legs with varicose veins during pregnancy

If the disease is not diagnosed in time, venous insufficiency develops.

To the above signs are added: cramps in the calves, thrombophlebitis, the appearance of trophic ulcers, rupture of the varicose vein wall.

There are several areas of localization of varicose veins:

  • Varicose veins of the smooth muscles of the internal organs: esophagus, uterus. The disease is caused by portal hypertension or a genetic predisposition.
  • The defeat of the venous system of the spermatic canal - varicocele. It occurs in men with disorders of the cardiovascular system.
  • Pathology of the veins of the anal region and lower rectum - hemorrhoids. In women, the disease progresses after childbirth, since during the push the blood flow is directed to the lower pelvis.
natural childbirth with varicose veins

To diagnose the disease, it is necessary to consult a phlebologist. The specialist will determine the hemodynamics of the disease and prescribe treatment. Diagnostics are performed using angio-duplex, USDG scan of the lower extremity venous system. In some cases, radionuclide research techniques are used.

With varicose veins, natural childbirth is not contraindicated. But the recommended delivery method depends on the severity of the disease. During the attempts, the blood is rejected and the load on the diseased veins increases. In some cases it is sufficient to use compression stockings or an elastic bandage during childbirth.

But in the most severe cases of varicose veins, a caesarean section is recommended.

Causes of the disease

During pregnancy, the female body has to work for two. The fetus presses on the internal organs, the woman's lifestyle changes, the weight is redistributed. If the expectant mother had a tendency to varicose veins before pregnancy, the disease progresses during gestation.

The development of venous insufficiency during pregnancy is due to factors:

Hormonal changes in a woman's body

During pregnancy, the level of progesterone in the blood rises. The hormone helps to avoid hypertonicity of the uterus muscles. But by relaxing the muscular system, the hormone affects the walls of the blood vessels. Blood flow slows and congestion forms in the lower body. Veins expand, varicose veins appear.

High blood pressure

The blood of pregnant women is pumped through the venous system with great effort, since it is necessary to feed not only the woman's body, but also the fetus. But the increased load on the venous system does not give positive results. Untreated vessels weaken, the walls of the veins expand.

blood pressure measurement with varicose veins during pregnancy

Increased blood clotting

The body of a pregnant woman prepares for childbirth, the blood clots faster. Increased clotting prevents large blood loss during labor, but increases the risk of blood clots.

Lack of physical activity

A big belly and weight changes make it difficult for a woman to lead an active lifestyle. In the 2-3 trimester, the pregnant woman prefers to lie down. Without physical exertion, blood circulation slows down, the limbs swell. Special gymnastics is needed for pregnant women.


During toxicosis, kidney function is disrupted. An increase in the protein content in the urine is observed, the fluid is retained in the body. During swelling, the work of blood circulation is disrupted. The veins are expanding.

toxicosis with varicose veins during pregnancy

Toxicosis is especially dangerous in late pregnancy.

Symptoms and types

Varicose veins in pregnant women manifest themselves in various forms:

  • Varicose veins in the groin area;
  • Expansion of the veins on the walls of the uterus;
  • Vaginal varicose veins;
  • Varicose veins of the lower limbs.

Inguinal varicose veins appear in the last trimester of pregnancy. The symptom is due to severe weight gain and lack of physical activity. The first sign is a feeling of fullness in the groin areas.

Varicose veins of the uterus occur in 10% of cases. The risk group includes women with genetic predisposition and patients who have increased work of the iliac veins. The causes of the disease are: untreated inflammatory diseases, miscarriages, irregular periods.

Vaginal varicose veins are not uncommon during pregnancy. Like the form of varicose veins in the lower extremities, vaginalis occurs in one in three pregnant women. Women who are prone to being overweight are particularly susceptible to the disease.

Forms of varicose veins can develop individually or in combination. Treatment is prescribed individually after examination by a gynecologist and a phlebologist.

Clinical picture

The clinical picture depends on the stage of development of varicose veins. At the initial stage, the pregnant woman does not notice the changes, but she may complain of heaviness in the legs, itchy groin. In the compensation phase, the disease proceeds without visible symptoms and can disappear within several months of giving birth. On visual inspection, a slight swelling of the veins is observed. The skin does not change, the veins are soft without lumps and folds.

In the second stage of undercompensation, patients complain of aching pains. With a prolonged position, the legs swell. The swelling disappears without additional funds, having taken a horizontal position. At the end of the day, the patient has a mild, pasty swelling of the ankles.

During the period of decompensation, the pregnant woman experiences constant heaviness in the legs, pain in the places of localization of varicose veins, cramps of the lower leg. In the evening, skin itching is aggravated, which precedes trophic ulcers. Externally pronounced varicose veins are visible, venous hemodynamics is subject to global disturbances.

In the last stage of varicose veins, the veins are dilated and have a thick consistency. In the affected areas, the walls are welded to the skin. In the places of adhesions, depressions are formed after periplebitis. Thinning of the skin with pronounced foci of cyanosis is observed. The skin cannot be folded, trophic ulcers are observed. The last stage during pregnancy practically does not occur, but if the disease is not treated in time, the disease progresses rapidly.

Methods for the treatment of veins

Varicose veins are treated with three methods:

  1. Conservative;
  2. Compression sclerotherapy;
  3. Through surgery.

Not all techniques are suitable for pregnant women. The choice of technique depends on the stage of the disease, and in some cases, treatment should be started after delivery.

Conservative technique

Conservative therapy is the main method of treating varicose veins in pregnant women. The technique includes:

  • Gymnastics for pregnant women;
  • Rules for reducing the load on the legs;
  • The use of compression rubber bands means: stockings for pregnant women, elastic bandages, special stockings;
  • Phlebotonic therapy.
gymnastics for varicose veins during pregnancy

Gymnastics for pregnant women is performed by a specialist.

Women in an interesting position are not allowed to do all the exercises. It is best to participate in group sessions in a maternity hospital or gynecological center. In class, they will tell you how to breathe correctly during training, what exercises are allowed at different stages of pregnancy.

It is helpful for pregnant women to visit the swimming pool. During swimming, all muscle groups work, and the load on the pregnant woman's body is minimal. It is useful to undergo a hydromassage procedure after physical exertion. This will help increase blood flow and tone the muscles.

It is effective for the treatment and prevention of varicose veins in pregnant women to use elastic underwear. Compression garments exert pressure on areas of the body with varying force and blood flows out of the limbs faster.

The maternity compression underwear is available in four versions:

  • Knee socks;
  • Bandaged panties;
  • Stockings;
  • Tights.
compression underwear for varicose veins during pregnancy

The degree of compression and the size of the linen are selected individually under the guidance of a phlebologist. Panties are used not only as a therapy and prevention for varicose veins, but also in place of a bandage. The model is comfortable and relieves most of the load from the lower back. Wearing panties every day relieves pressure on the uterus and the fetus will receive more oxygen. Reduces the load on the venous system.

It is allowed to use a cream based on heparin and natural ingredients during pregnancy. The ointment is applied several times a day to the site of localization of varicose veins.


Compression sclerotherapy during pregnancy is not prescribed. The method is suitable for women who have already had childbirth. The disease does not always regress and medical interventions must be resorted to. The technique is based on the introduction of a special drug into an enlarged vein, which causes a spasm of the vessel and completely fills it.

After drug administration, patients are advised to wear compression garments. After a few days, the vein is restored and a commissure is formed at the site of the varicose lesion. Underwear should be worn for 1. 5–2 months until full recovery.

Surgical intervention

Surgical treatment of varicose veins is the most effective and efficient method. But surgery is only allowed after delivery.

Modern medicine offers several techniques for the treatment of varicose veins in various stages:

  • Microsurgery;
  • Coagulation with a laser;
  • Radio frequency coagulation;
  • Photocoagulation;
  • Phlebotomy;
  • Miniflebotomy.

In the initial stage, spider veins are easily removed using a laser. But before any surgery, a full examination of the woman is required.

Preventive actions

With each subsequent pregnancy, the risk of developing varicose veins increases. But if preventative measures are followed, the risks are reduced by 70%. If nets and minor "nodules" appear on the legs or groin, it is not advisable to delay the visit to the doctor.

A few simple rules to help you avoid varicose veins during pregnancy:

  1. Walk every day. You should walk at a calm pace, at least two hours. In warm weather and rainy times, walking is replaced by walking on a treadmill.
  2. A contrast shower once a day will help speed up blood flow. The water temperature is selected based on personal feelings. Women in the position are advised to choose a comfortable temperature.
  3. Shoes are chosen on a comfortable last with a stable heel of no more than 2-3 cm.
  4. During sleep and rest, it is preferable to lie down on the left side. This lowers the venous pressure. A special roller or pillow is placed under the belly.
  5. During a sitting position, the legs are thrown higher so that the blood flow does not slow down. Before going to bed, you can lie down for 15 minutes with your feet on a pillow or wall.
  6. Try changing your body position more often. Long periods of lying, standing or sitting are harmful to the circulatory system.
  7. Watch your diet. It is harmful to eat large amounts of salty, salty or smoked food. Drink at least 1. 5 liters of water per day.
  8. Regular intake of vitamins and minerals helps prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Varicose veins are not an obligatory companion of pregnancy. But if a woman has a genetic predisposition to the disease or is overweight, it is necessary to carefully monitor the condition of the veins throughout the entire period of pregnancy. Preventive measures are easier to perform than to treat for varicose veins.