Varicose veins during pregnancy

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Varicose veins during pregnancy: Among the common disorders of pregnancy, there are varicose veins: those great blue veins in the form of cord that appear on the surface of the skin. Here’s how to protect yourself and reduce the risk of complications.

Varicose veins during pregnancy
Varicose veins during pregnancy

Pregnant, get rid of varicose veins

When a baby is awaited, the legs are strained. They swell, become dark, are painful, and sometimes abnormally dilated veins appear under the skin: they are varicose veins. They are the expression of a chronic disease called venous insufficiency, which is characterized by a bad return of blood to the heart. The veins are equipped with “valves” to prevent the blood from descending to the legs. If these are failing, blood circulation slows down, and blood stagnates in the lower limbs. This phenomenon distends the wall of the veins and favors the appearance of varicose veins. Anyone can develop varicose veins, But the genetic factor is decisive. The risk is four times higher if one of the parents, father or mother, is involved. Moreover, six times more when it comes to both parents. Lack of luck, women are more affected by this pathology, especially during pregnancy, a period very at risk for the veins. “From the first months, the wall of the veins can be weakened by the effect of progesterone, confirms Dr. Blanchemaison. This hormone whose primary role is to distend the uterine muscle will also dilate the vessels. At the end of pregnancy, the phenomenon is accentuated, but this time it is the volume of the uterus, as well as the weight of the baby, Which cause compression of the deep veins and thus impede venous return. Other factors include weight gain or the number of pregnancies. If you wait for your second or third child, you will be more likely to have varicose veins. Pregnancy is also accompanied by other more mild circulation disorders, such as varicosities. These small superficial red or blue vessels, visible on the lower body, are disgraceful marks, but without gravity. They reveal a slight venous insufficiency and can remain at this stage or evolve towards varicose veins. Such as weight gain or the number of pregnancies. If you wait for your second or third child, you will be more likely to have varicose veins. Pregnancy is also accompanied by other more mild circulation disorders, such as varicosities.

Hygiene measures to alleviate symptoms

Varicose veins may appear without warning, but most of the time your body sends you warning signs. The first symptoms of venous insufficiency are localized pain in the lower limbs, a sensation of wet and swollen legs, well known to future mothers. Simple measures must then be applied to limit these inconveniences. To begin, we try to stay active. Physical inactivity is an aggravating factor of venous insufficiency. It is not because you are pregnant that you must give up all sporting activities and if you do not feel like practicing swimming or cycling, Opt for walking that is excellent for stimulating venous return. To reduce pain, massage your legs from the bottom up with a decongestant cream, or finish your shower with a stream of fresh water along with your legs. Enclosure, lymphatic drainage is not contraindicated, provided that it is done by hand. On a daily basis, you can also raise your legs when sitting or during the night, do not get in the sun as the heat increases the dilation of the vessels. The objective is always the same: to prevent the blood stagnating at the level of the legs, the ankles, and the feet. Another reflex: Prefer a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. Vitamins C, E, but also mineral salts such as zinc and selenium are used to make the collagen our ships need to be resistant.

Compression and veinotonic stockings

Beyond hygiene measures, there are different types of treatment for varicose veins. The use of compression stockings is the most efficient method to improve venous return and reduce the risk of complications. By compressing the muscle, “they cause an external back pressure which will support the superficial veins and thus prevent their dilation,” says Dr. Bonnemaison. They can be worn daily, as soon as the first symptoms appear if one is often in a sitting or standing position. In risky situations such as long journeys by plane or car, they are essential. “The stockings or stockings are divided into three classes according to the pressure they exert on the leg. In all cases, ask your doctor for advice, he may prescribe a model adapted to your morphology and the degree of severity of venous insufficiency. If despite this treatment, you still experience severe pain in the legs, you can then turn to the isotonic .

These medications restore tonicity to the vein wall and increase the rate of return of blood to the heart. They are allowed during pregnancy but, “for prudence, I advise rather those which are based on extracts of plants like the Teflon, that the chemical substances,” specifies the phlebologist. The vein tonic is no longer supported by the Health Insurance, unlike the stockings. Pregnant, If you have varicose veins, the most reasonable is to consult a doctor phlebologist for the realization of a Doppler echo. It is an ultrasound of the lower limbs which allows visualizing the state of the deep vein network. The specialist examines the blood flow, the condition of veins and varicose veins. It is an indispensable surveillance, as varicose veins can sometimes get worse. The risk of venous thrombosis, better known as phlebitis, is multiplied by five in pregnant women . This complication occurs when a blood clot blocks a vein, causing an inflammatory reaction: a hot cord, Red and painful appears on the part of a vein of the leg or thigh. “You feel a sudden pain, your foot swells in the hours that follow, it can even double in volume, to which is added a small fever,” says Dr. Bonnemaison. To diagnose phlebitis, a sign does not deceive. “If you have a pain in the calf when you lift your foot upwards or when you step on the stage. In this case, it is necessary to consult during the day a specialist who can prescribe an anticoagulant adapted to the pregnancy. The risk is that the clot detaches itself from the wall of the veins, ascends into the lungs and causes pulmonary embolism.

Waiting for the end of pregnancy to be treated

No treatment to eliminate varicose veins is possible during pregnancy. However, rest assured, most of the time those big veins disappear naturally after childbirth, you have to be patient. In general, doctors recommend waiting six months before intervening. When the variance is shallow, one can opt for sclerosis or the laser, the first being the least invasive method. Under ultrasound control, the doctor introduces a sclerosing product into the diseased vein to reduce its diameter. The endovenous laser, for its part, destroys the varicose vein but without extracting the vein: it is a very useful technique and almost painless. However, in general, If varicose veins are not serious, it is better to wait until the end of her pregnancies before embarking on radical treatments. If on the other hand, veins are very sick, surgery is strongly recommended. Practiced under general anesthesia, the operation called “stripping” consists in removing the affected vein. Following these treatments, a regular monitoring of the venous system is necessary to avoid the appearance of new varicose veins.

Vulvar varicose veins

During pregnancy, swollen veins may appear in the vulva. These varicose veins are due to increased blood pressure in the veins surrounding the uterus. Most often, they develop only from the second pregnancy. Vulvar varicose veins cause pelvic pain, feelings of heaviness in the lower abdomen, and discomfort during sexual intercourse. For relief, no miracle solution: stay elongated or wear tights. Most of the time, these variances are discrete and disappear naturally after childbirth. When they are voluminous and painful, There may be a risk of varicose hemorrhage during childbirth. The caesarean is then privileged.