Varicose veins in pregnancy
Varicose veins are more likely to develop during pregnancy than at any other time. Tina Otte offers good suggestions to avoid the occurance of varicose veins and what to do if you have them.

You are more likely to develop varicose veins during your pregnancy than at any other time. They are caused by the hormonal changes in the cardiovascular system and the pregnancy hormone progesterone, which causes the blood vessel walls to relax.

Veins have a valve to keep blood moving in one direction. In order to accommodate the extra blood volume that pregnancy brings the walls of the veins become softer and stretchier. When the vessels are relaxed the valves don’t meet and close properly.

How varicose veins occur

A varicose vein occurs when blood has difficulty flowing out of the area of your body, such as the legs and rectum, and back to the heart, causing the blood to pool in the lower limbs. In the latter stages of pregnancy, when you’re lying down, the weight of your baby press heavily on the veins, causing an additional blocking effect.

The added weight of pregnancy plus the increase of volume of fluid in your blood stream forces the valves to work harder to keep the blood flowing smoothly.

How to prevent varicose veins

Feet up

Put your feet up as often as you can during the day and avoid standing for long periods. Elevate your legs above the level of your heart.


Activities and exercise such as walking and swimming work wonders. Stationary cycling will also increase the circulation in the legs.

Support hose

If you are really suffering, you may want to wear support hose. Homeopathic preparations that may help include Varicose Plus ointment and Hemorrho No 2 and Calc Fluor tissue salts.

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