I often get questions from pregnant patients asking about the best approach for treating varicose veins and spider veins. Varicose veins often get worse during pregnancy and patients want to know if they should get vein treatments during or after they are pregnant. Many factors, such as hormone fluctuations, weight gain, increased blood volume, and the physical pressure from the fetus’ growing head can cause or worsen existing varicose and spider veins. All of these factors can contribute to the failure of the vein valves and the worsening of back flow (or reflux) in the veins.
This vein reflux is the cause of varicose veins and spider veins during pregnancy. It can also cause the classic symptoms associated with vein reflux including swelling, achiness, fatigue, and pain in the legs. The good news, however, is that these symptoms often get better after the baby is born and so do varicose veins.
As a general rule, we recommend that all vein treatments should wait until several months after giving birth. That will give your body enough time to return to normal. Plus, a good general rule is that non-emergency procedures should be avoided during pregnancy.
It is definitely true, however, that regular use of varicose veins socks or compression stockings is beneficial during pregnancy for any patient suffering with varicose veins or the symptoms of venous reflux. Stockings will help with swelling, achiness, and fatigue and may prevent varicose veins from getting worse during the pregnancy.