Why Do Some Women Get Varicose Veins During Pregnancy?

Varicose veins are known by a number of different names, of which spider veins is one, but they are all manifested in the same way, no matter what you call them. They are red, sometimes swollen, broken capillaries that are anything but becoming and, unfortunately, altogether too common among pregnant women. So why do some women get varicose veins during pregnancy? Actually, there are a number of reasons why and treatments will often vary because of this.

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Hormonal Changes in the Body

Some women get extremely emotional when they are pregnant and so it is common to hear someone say, “Don’t worry. She’s just hormonal because she’s pregnant.” With an increase in estrogen and progesterone that is associated with pregnancy, mood isn’t the only thing a woman suffers. A spike in those two hormones also causes the blood to flow at a higher rate, which in turn can be a bit much for those tiny capillaries to handle. Often, they burst and once they are broken, there is a tiny amount of pooling under the skin that causes those red areas on the face and spidery veins on the legs, often near the knees or around the ankle and top of the foot.

Excess Weight

Not only will a woman gain ‘baby weight’ but often she will put on the pounds as well. This excess weight being carried around isn’t easy on the body as it accumulates much quicker than even normal weight gain (if there is such a thing!) and so, again, the body works overly hard and broken capillaries are the result. Most often broken capillaries associated with pregnancy are in the legs because that is the part of the body bearing the brunt of that extra weight, but broken capillaries in the face are not uncommon either.

High Blood Pressure Caused by Excess Water in the Body

It is not uncommon for pregnant ladies to all of a sudden notice they are carrying a great amount of excess water. This is often seen in the feet when a finger leaves an indent when pressed into the swelling. Edema is not uncommon in pregnancy but it can, and often does, lead to high blood pressure as veins are literally squeezed in and the heart is forced to pump harder to keep blood flowing to the extremities. Some obstetricians prescribe water pills (diuretics) during pregnancy but once those capillaries burst, the cosmetic damage is done and there is nothing left to do but to seek treatment once the baby has made its appearance.

While it is common to suffer broken capillaries during pregnancy, it is also common to be ashamed of those red and unsightly varicose veins on the legs and spider veins on the face. Fortunately, they are not known to lead to anything more serious but you will want to get them treated. It is no fun suffering from excess hormones and/or body weight during pregnancy, but once that is gone, cosmetic physicians have treatments to repair those veins, leaving your skin smooth and blemish-free.

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