Pregnancy and vulvar varicose veins, what to do?
If vulvar varicose veins are rare for a first child, they are relatively common in subsequent pregnancies. Often they are not too annoying (they may even go unnoticed) but, if necessary, you can relieve them with different tricks …
Vulvar varices: what is it?
- Like varicose veins in the legs, vulvar varicose veins are more or less swollen, of a bluish color. Their appearance is related to several factors, including the natural increase in blood volume in the veins of the genital area. Also, the veins in the vulva were particularly sensitive to hormonal fluctuations in pregnancy (unlike many other veins, they have hormone receptors), which also explains their dilatation.
- Classically, vulvar varicose veins occur in the 5th month of a second pregnancy, but may also occur earlier or later, depending on the woman. In the vast majority of cases, they disappear on their own very quickly after childbirth.
What are the symptoms of vulvar varicose veins?
- Vulvar varicose veins do not necessarily cause symptoms. However, in other cases, they may manifest as a sensation of weight and swelling, discomfort in walking, itching, and pain more or less sharp, especially during sexual intercourse. Even if vulvar varicose veins are usually benign, do not hesitate to consult: the doctor can offer you symptomatic treatment until their disappearance …
- Nice to know: in the presence of a red ball, very firm and painful on your vulva, consult urgently. It may be a sign of thrombosis (obstruction of the vein by a blood clot), requiring anticoagulant treatment. That being said, this complication of vulvar varices is infrequent …
Vulvar varices: what solutions?
- To relieve vulvar varicose veins, the doctor can prescribe a stick of restraint, especially if you also have varicose veins in the legs. Also, vein tonic may be prescribed to reduce vein dilatation and pain related to inflammation (the majority of vein tonic can be used from the second trimester of pregnancy).
- Jets of cold water or the application of an ice pack (never put an ice cube directly in contact with the skin or the mucous membranes) also relieve the pain, although these solutions are not always enjoyable …
- If you suffer from itching, your doctor can advise you on a gentle hygiene product and applications of zinc oxide cream after your toilet.
Vulvar varices: during and after childbirth
- Vulvar varicose veins do not represent a brake for low births but, exceptionally, in the presence of large varicose veins presenting a hemorrhagic risk, the medical team may recommend a caesarean section.
- After delivery, vulvar varicose veins usually disappear very quickly. Much more rarely, they may persist for several months: in the absence of discomfort, no treatment is necessary. On the contrary case, varicose veins can be destroyed by injection of sclerosing products.