One of the most troubling kind of varicose veins during pregnancy, are the pregnancy vulva veins condition. These vulvar varicosities are both painful and more difficult to treat. While varicose veins on legs, behind knees and feet are more common and can be easily treated and managed, the vulvar varicose veins are somewhat more challenging.
Why Do Vulva Veins Appear During Pregnancy
The vulva veins are more common during pregnancy, and may be considered as pregnancy symptoms like the blue veins on the breasts and blue veins on the stomach. The varicose appear during pregnancy month because of three main reasons:
- Vulva varicose veins develop because pregnancy hormones relax the vein valves, this relaxation cause the leaflet valves (which needs to prevent blood flowing backward) to be less tight. Loose valves allow blood pooling and clogging.
- Pregnancy hormones effect varicose veins all over the body, the veins appear because the enlarging womb is causing a strain on the vulva veins. This pressure might cause the veins valves to collapse, and create vulvar varicosities.
- The extra weight by the lower abdominal while sitting can add pressure on the veins, and blood circulation causing pregnancy vulva varicose veins to pop out at the inner thighs close to the vulva area.
It is common that veins that appear at the first pregnancy tend to appear also at the second or third pregnancies also. So except from these three reasons there is also some genetic influence why vulva veins show on some women and not on other.
Pregnancy Vulva Veins Pains
One of the first symptoms for these vulva veins during pregnancy are the pains and discomfort that pregnant women feel at the lower abdominal and vulva during the pregnancy trimesters.
The veins syndrome complaints are for constant dull pelvic pain, pressure and heaviness. These pains are similar to the Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) which can turn to varicose veins condition.
It is reported that up to 30% of women will in some stage of life complain about the pelvic pain, in some of them the reason will be the appearance of the varicose veins near and around the vulva area.
Preventing Vulva Veins During Pregnancy
There are several guidelines which can help reduce the pressure from the vulva veins during pregnancy.
Do Pregnancy Exercises Often – Try to keep a steady and constant workout program throughout the pregnancy trimesters. The exercises will keep the blood circulation going, and the new muscle tissue and natural body tension help support the blood flow and reduce varicose veins.
Do some mild legs workout like cycling motion when lying on your back to exercises the inner thighs veins too. One recommended pregnancy exercises program is the “pregnancy without pounds” program, where plenty of ideas for exercises and workout are explained for all types of pregnancy women.
Avoid Sitting Or Standing For Long Periods – In our lifestyle we tend to sit for hours or stand for hours, both scenarios are casing a lot of strain on the veins and especially on the vulva veins at the top of the thighs and groin. Try to find the time to move around, stand, sit, walk and be more active when at work.
Elevate Feet – Try to elevate your feet when possible, place them at a level where they are higher than your heart, this will help the tired veins pump away the pooling blood, without the need to pump ‘upward’ all the time.
No Heel Shoes – Wearing high heels may give the body a sexy long silhouette but it also places all the tension at the calves and the blood will have difficult time to elevate back to the heart especially when the valves are weak as they are during pregnancy. So before veins appear get used to walk on low heels or no heel at all.
Sleep On Your Left Side – One of the main veins in the body is called inferior vena cava (or IVC), it sends de-oxygenated blood from the lower half of the body up to the heart. This inferior vena cava runs up the right side of the body gathers two major veins to the left and right legs into one major vein. Sleeping on the left side reduces the overall pressure from this inferior vena cava allowing better blood flow.
Accessories For Pregnancy Vulva Veins Pain Relief
Because one of the reasons for the vulva veins during pregnancy is the extra weight and tension at the lower abdominal area when the body needs to carry the pregnant belly all day. The pelvic muscle support can reduce the vulva pains and prevent new varicose veins from appearing.
Pregnancy Vulva Veins Treatments
In most cases no treatment required for vulvar/vaginal varicosities. If vulva cause you a lot of pain, or if the pregnancy is far behind you and the vulva veins are still there, there are several varicose vein treatments which can be done at the doctor’s clinic.
Most of the treatments will not be done during pregnancy, and the doctor will recommend to come back a few weeks after delivery, by then the vulva veins condition may be over anyway.
The common treatments are:
- Sclerotherapy – Injecting foam solution, which clogs the veins and make them vanish, the body will use deeper veins to carry the blood back from the legs. Sclerotherapy can be used on smaller varicose veins like the vulvar veins, the recovery is very fast usually one day rest.
- Veins Stripping – In this procedure the inflated veins are stripped away. There are several ways this is done, but the result is the same, pulling the ill veins inside out. The procedure is quite simple and recovery is up to a week.
- Laser Treatments – The laser light is used to burn the vulva veins. A tiny laser probe is guided into the veins using ultrasound imaging, the treatment is fast and not invasive, only a small incision bellow the knee.
Only your doctor can recommend which of the options is best for your pregnancy vulva veins condition. As mentioned above, these treatments are usually not preformed during the pregnancy trimesters, so the pregnant woman has to follow the prevention guidelines and use the accessories available to reduce the pain and mange the discomfort.