Prevention and treatment of varicose veins during pregnancy

Varicose veins are a disease in which there is a thinning of the venous walls and an increase in the lumen of the bloodstream, followed by the formation of nodular enlargements.

Varicose veins during pregnancy develop in 20-30% of women. Pathological changes most often occur in the veins of the lower extremities. Outwardly, the disease is expressed in the appearance of spider veins and asterisks. In advanced cases, swelling of the veins is observed. Clinical manifestations without external symptoms develop in about 80% of expectant mothers.

Symptoms of varicose veins during pregnancy

The symptoms of varicose veins depend on the current stage of the disease. Initially, the pathology delivers minimal discomfort. As the condition worsens, the clinical picture also intensifies.

Initial signs of abnormal varicose veins include:

  • the formation of a vascular pattern indicating the area of the lesion - the calf, the area under the knees, the outer surface of the thigh - not painful on palpation;
  • feeling of heaviness in the legs;
  • rare cramps in the calf muscles at night.

In the absence of adequate therapy, the initial signs are joined by:

  • swelling;
  • changes in the venous pattern - protrusion of the walls of blood vessels, the formation of "nodes";
  • deterioration in the condition of the skin;
  • pain syndrome, accompanied by a feeling of fullness in the affected veins;
  • the formation of trophic ulcers.

A similar clinical picture allows you to confirm the diagnosis without the appointment of studies. Additional diagnostic methods are justified at an early stage of varicose veins, to exclude the development of diseases with similar symptoms.

Most often, varicose veins affect the veins of the lower extremities, but during pregnancy, violations of the outflow of blood can be recorded in the organs of the low-basal area and the labia.

This type of varicose veins is difficult to distinguish from standard gynecological pathologies. The condition is accompanied by symptoms typical for them:

  1. Pain in the lower abdomen.
  2. Profuse vaginal discharge.
  3. Discomfort during intimate relationships.
  4. Difficulty emptying the bladder.

An accurate diagnosis can only be made by a doctor during an examination in a chair. In this case, a change in the venous pattern of the vagina, the visible segment of the cervix, is clearly visible.

It's important to know! Untreated varicose veins in the low-basal area can be the cause of infertility - a woman cannot get pregnant.

External manifestations of varicose veins in the low-basal area appear in rare cases. Vascular networks and nodules can form in the buttocks, perineum, pubis, and inner thighs.

reference! A woman with a severe form of varicose veins of the small pelvis will give birth by caesarean section.

That is why the disease proceeds in a latent form for a long time and is accompanied by the development of serious complications. These are vaginal and uterine bleeding, inflammation of internal organs, thrombosis and others.

Varicose veins of the labia are not uncommon during pregnancy. The risk of developing pathology with each subsequent gestation only increases. After childbirth, the condition of the veins quickly returns to normal.

Signs of varicose veins of the labia are:

  1. The appearance of a characteristic venous pattern.
  2. Protrusion, drooping of the inflamed areas of the veins.
  3. Itching and dryness of the skin and mucous membranes.
  4. An increase in the size of the labia and vulva due to swelling.
  5. Painful sensations.

With varicose veins of the groin area, discomfort may occur:

  • during urination and bowel movements;
  • after sexual contact;
  • after prolonged sitting;
  • while walking.

Complications of varicose veins

Signs of varicose veins appear in the second trimester, by about 4 - 5 gestational months. Venous pressure in the legs increases, which slows down the rate of blood flow. If a woman does not receive the necessary treatment, then the disease becomes the cause of a difficult course of pregnancy, directly labor and the postpartum period.

Stagnation of blood in the veins of the small pelvis entails poor contractility of the uterus, which can provoke severe bleeding, the development of arterial thrombosis.

Important! For a child, pathological expansion of the veins of the lower extremities in his mother is not dangerous.

Diagnosis of varicose veins

The phlebologist is involved in the diagnosis. It is this doctor who selects the treatment and decides on the need to consult a vascular surgeon.

Required examinations

In order to diagnose venous pathology, a woman is assigned the following analyzes and instrumental tests:

  • Ultrasound examination of the vessels of the lower extremities. The technique allows you to identify the degree of damage to the bloodstream, to assess the consistency of the valve apparatus, etc.
  • General blood analysis. The leukocyte formula, the number of leukocytes and platelets are of diagnostic interest.
  • Coagulogram. The study helps to assess the indicators of blood clotting.

Treatment of varicose veins during pregnancy

Treatment of varicose veins during this period has some peculiarities. When the first signs appear, you should immediately seek medical help.

Important! The selection of drugs should be dealt with by a specialist, since drugs have their own contraindications for trimesters.

To increase vascular tone, pills can be prescribed that have an angioprotective effect, help to reduce swelling and reduce painful syndrome. In addition, drug therapy relieves night cramps and improves cellular nutrition of inflamed tissues.

It is allowed to use traditional methods of treatment, for example, to prepare balms and herbal infusions for applying compresses. But first you need to consult with your doctor.

Prevention of varicose veins during pregnancy

Prevention of varicose veins of the lower extremities during pregnancy is one of the most effective measures to prevent the development of the disease.


The daily diet should include foods that can provide the female body with the necessary vitamins and minerals. It is based on:

  • complex carbohydrates: grain bread, cereals, fresh vegetables and fruits;
  • fish of low-fat or low-fat varieties;
  • meat tenderloin;
  • poultry meat (it is imperative to remove the skin to reduce calorie content);
  • nuts;
  • dairy products (best of all, medium fat).

It is necessary to limit the consumption of butter: during the day, you can eat a piece weighing no more than 10 grams.

nutrition for the prevention of varicose veins during pregnancy

Prevention of excessive weight gain

One of the reasons for the development of varicose veins is accelerated weight gain. As a prophylaxis for excessive weight gain, fasting days are recommended for a woman.

There are several options:

  • kefir (1. 5 l);
  • apple (1. 5 kg);
  • buckwheat (250 g of cereals);
  • vegetable (1. 5 kg).

The daily allowance of the selected product - indicated in brackets - must be divided into 6 doses. You need to eat often, every 2 hours. The emergence of a strong feeling of hunger is unacceptable.

It is allowed to drink clean water during the day. Sugar and salt are completely excluded. Following the recommendations, you can lose up to 2 kg of weight in one day.

Physical activity

To improve the blood circulation processes in the lower extremities and prevent the development of varicose veins, physical activity permissible for the duration of pregnancy and frequent changes in the position of the legs will help.

During the day, you can do simple exercises:

  • circular movements of the feet;
  • lifting on toes;
  • rolls from toe to heel.

Positional therapy

Positional therapy also serves as an excellent prevention of the development of varicose veins. The recommendations will be as follows:

  • you can not throw one leg over the other;
  • when sitting on a chair, only the buttocks should touch it - it is undesirable to lean on the back;
  • you need to sleep only on the left side, putting a pillow under the stomach - this position helps to reduce the pressure exerted by the uterus on the vessels located behind the peritoneum, which improves the outflow of blood from the legs.

Important! In addition to preventing varicose veins, sleeping on the left side helps to avoid the development of uterine hypertonicity.

Avoid provoking factors

The factors that provoke the development of varicose veins include:

  • Compression of the enlarged uterus of the iliac veins. This impairs the outflow of venous blood. In the last months of pregnancy, it can cause pathological enlargement of the veins of the vulva.
  • Genetic predisposition. Heredity is one of the main reasons for the development of pathology.
  • Change in hormonal levels. An increase in progesterone levels occurring during childbearing causes a decrease in the tone of the venous wall and its stretching.
  • Enhanced pelvic blood flow. During gestation, an activation of uterine blood flow is observed, which leads to an increase in pressure in the venous system of the pelvis. The result is a violation of the outflow of blood from the legs.

Unfortunately, a woman is not able to control the development of many factors provoking varicose veins, since they are due to physiology. But she is able to give herself daily physical activity, giving up a sedentary lifestyle. After all, being in a horizontal position and limiting movement is perhaps the most important factor in the formation of varicose veins. Stagnation of venous blood becomes the cause of pathological vasodilation.

It is necessary to strictly monitor the weight, since extra pounds have a very negative effect on the condition of the veins.

Clothes and footwear

To reduce the strain on the veins, you need to wear comfortable shoes. The shoes should have a small - no higher than 5 cm - stable heel. Complete failure and wearing, for example, ballet flats, significantly increases the pressure on the heels, and spider veins can form in the popliteal region.

shoes for varicose veins during pregnancy

Clothing should be made from breathable fabrics and not restrict movement. Any pulling in the abdomen is strictly prohibited. Gynecologists recommend that women use a special prenatal brace, sometimes even in the early stages.

An important point is the wearing of compression stockings (anti-varicose tights will cause compression of the pregnant uterus). A phlebologist observing a woman should select medical jersey, since only a specialist can calculate the required degree of compression, taking into account the current clinical picture and stage of the disease.

Baths and showers

A good therapeutic result is given by taking a contrast shower. The alternation of comfortably cool and warm water becomes available to prevent the development of varicose veins during pregnancy. The procedure improves vascular tone and prevents venous blood stagnation. But too strong a temperature contrast can provoke uterine contractions.

An alternative to a contrast shower would be such a home remedy as contrast baths with sea salt or herbal preparations.


Self-massage of the feet improves local blood flow and prevents varicose veins. Movements should be directed from bottom to top. To enhance the therapeutic effect, when the initial symptoms are detected, it is allowed to use anti-varicose ointments, creams and gels.

Operative treatment

Operative methods of treating pathology during childbearing are practiced in rare cases. An exception is a rapidly progressing condition or a complication of an existing varicose veins in the form of a trophic ulcer or ascending thrombophlebitis.

Surgical treatment is allowed only during the first 6 months of gestation. A hardening procedure can also be performed.


The prognosis for life is favorable. Complicating the course of the disease can be:

  • predisposition at the genetic level;
  • repeated pregnancies;
  • multiple pregnancy;
  • difficult childbirth;
  • the woman's age (the risk increases after 35 years);
  • obesity;
  • the presence of superficial thrombophlebitis.

The onset of gestation against the background of existing varicose veins can increase the risk of blood clots and the development of deep vein thrombophlebitis.

Modern medicine has made significant advances in the treatment of varicose veins. There are many different drugs and prevention methods that are safe for a woman and her child, in particular, special gymnastics.