Does Pregnancy Cause Varicose Veins?

pregnancyMany women are aware that pregnancy increases the risk of developing varicose veins. Your mother may have even thanked you for hers!

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that are visible on the skin surface. Often blue or red, these veins can take several shapes – sometimes straight, other times twisted, and frequently bulging above the surface of the skin. While varicose veins are more common below the knee, they may occur at any location on the legs. During and after pregnancy, they may even occur on the vulva or groin. As many as 55% of women will develop varicose veins at some point in their life.

Pregnancy increases the risk of developing varicose veins because of the increased blood volume and pressure from the growing uterus. The most common symptoms of large veins are heaviness, aching and pressure. While some women experience only cosmetic issues, varicose veins may contribute to blood clots and ankle or leg swelling. The good news is that varicose veins often improve after delivery – though they will rarely go away.

How to Prevent Varicose and Spider Veins During and After Pregnancy

  • Sleep on your left side (helps blood flow more easily to the interior vena cava vein)
  • Exercise regularly
  • Elevate your legs
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Promote healthy digestion and avoid constipation
  • Wear compression hose

If you have bothersome veins caused by pregnancy and would like an evaluation by one of our board-certified vascular surgeons, please contact the Emory Vein Center for a consultation. Your legs will thank you!

Call 404-778-VEIN or request an appointment online today!

About Dr. Rheudasil

Mark Rheudasil, MDMark Rheudasil, MD,  graduated magna cum laude from Abilene Christian University in Texas and he earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1983. He completed a general surgery internship and residency program at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Rheudasil also completed a fellowship in vascular surgery at Emory University in 1989.

Dr. Rheudasil is a diplomat of the American Board of Surgery and is a board certified vascular surgeon. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the International Society for Cardiovascular and Endovascular Surgery, and the North American chapter of the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery. He is also a member of the Peripheral Vascular Surgery Society, the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery, the Emory Association of Vascular Surgery, the Atlanta Vascular Society, and the Georgia Surgical Society. He is also a member of the Medical Association of Georgia, the Medical Association of Atlanta, and the Atlanta Clinical Society. He is also certified as a Registered Vascular Technologist.

Dr. Rheudasil has published articles in several medical journals including The Journal of Vascular Surgery, American Surgeon and The Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia. He has lectured at the regional and national level on a variety of topics including current reviews of vascular surgery.

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