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During pregnancy, increased strain on leg muscles due to increased body weight leads to a condition known as varicose veins. Varicosity is basically bulging out of veins in the leg. Veins of the lower leg are affected. The valves fail to function properly due to pooling of blood in the veins, they appear enlarged and swollen. Genetics also plays a role. Being overweight and standing for long periods of time also increases the risk.
Signs and symptoms of varicose veins are:
2. Heaviness or aching around the veins
3. Redness and dryness in that area
4. Swelling of the ankles
5. Veins look twisted and swollen
6. Brownish yellow discolouration of the skin around affected veins
7. Cramps develop especially when performing sudden movements
8. Irregular white patches resembling scars may also appear at the ankles.
In severe cases, the veins can bleed and ulcers may form. It may also lead to blood clotting and fat necrosis near ankles.
Treatment and prevention of varicose veins include:
1. Avoid standing or sitting for extended periods of time, take breaks
2. Reduce weight
3. Exercise regularly to improve circulation
4. Elevate the legs
5. Use of compression stockings. They work by squeezing the patient’s legs and improving circulation
6. Use of topical gel application to relieve pain
7. Surgery-vein ligation and stripping are the two surgical procedures
8. Sclerotherapy is another invasive treatment. In this, a medicine is injected into the veins to shrink them.
9. Ablation therapy is another option which makes use of heat and radio frequencies. It is said to be effective in short term
10. Trans illuminated powered phlebectomy
11. Holistic treatments are also an option if you prefer the medical free route
They usually heal after the baby is delivered and blood flow returns to normal. Also, they tend to increase with each pregnancy.