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I am Pregnant – Can I Have My Varicose Veins Treated?

Varicose Veins can appear for the first time in pregnancy and may become so painful that pregnant mothers seek varicose vein treatment. So can varicose veins be treated safely during pregnancy?

I am pregnant - can I have my varicose veins treated-001In general, varicose veins should not be treated during pregnancy and there are 4 main reasons.

-1) Increased risk of DVT and PE. Pregnancy is a period in which there is an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. Compared women who are not pregnant, the risk of venous … Continue reading »

Pregnancy and Varicose Veins – why do pregnant women get varicose veins?

There are dramatic changes in the female body during pregnancy and often varicose veins and thread veins appear for the first time. I will discuss the main changes that occur in the venous circulation and I will review the evidence for a causal link between varicose veins and pregnancy.

During the last trimester of pregnancy there is an increase in the maternal circulating blood volume to provide increased oxygen and nutrient carrying capacity for the developing fetus. Most of this increased circulation is accommodated in the veins of the legs. This is also facilitated by increases in progesterone and estrogen which … Continue reading »

What Have My Ovaries Got To Do With My Leg Veins?

Recently, I treated Emma from Bristol who developed very large, uncomfortable varicose veins around her vulva and upper thigh during pregnancy. After she had her baby, the veins around her vulva disappeared but the veins in her thigh persisted and gradually got worse. Her duplex ultrasound scan showed that the veins in her thigh were filling from her ovaries.

She had a condition called “Ovarian Vein Reflux”. The treatment for this is controversial, but my approach is to treat these veins with ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy unless there are symptoms of pelvic pain, bladder irritation or pain during intercourse. So far, … Continue reading »

Wrong Advice

Earlier this month, I treated a young single woman who had developed varicose veins in her late teens. She was unable to get her veins treated on the NHS as she was told that she would have to wait until she had had children and completed her family. She found this quite upsetting and indeed rather “sexist”. She felt that nothing could be done and that she would have to put up with her uncomfortable and unsightly veins. Fortunately, she¬†questioned this advice and asked me for a second opinion. This advice is not in keeping with our modern understanding of … Continue reading »

Pregnancy and Veins: Myths and Misconceptions!

Myths and Misconceptions

This week I have seen 3 ladies, two from London and one from Bristol who had been advised by their GP to defer any treatment for their varicose veins until they have completed their family and had all their children. Fortunately, they questioned this advice and asked me for a second opinion. This advice is not in keeping with our modern understanding of what causes varicose veins. It is based on the incorrect belief that pregnancy causes … Continue reading »

Sigvaris Stockings “Cured” My Veins!

Paula Quantock of Yeovil Somerset

A Surprised and Very Pleased Paula Quantock

Phlebitis is a common and unpleasant complication of varicose veins. Usually, the problem requires intervention, but occasionally if it is treated promptly with good and effective compression, the vein heals and disperses. Today I met Paula Quantock from Yeovil in Somerset and it seems that she is one of the few lucky people for whom this painful complication appears to have had a happy outcome.

Paula’s Story

“I first noticed the veins … Continue reading »

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