What you can do about varicose veins during pregnancy?

Varicose veins are the result of increases in hormone levels, blood volume, and pressure from the baby


I’m 27 weeks pregnant with my second child and the varicose veins on my calves are pronounced and bumpy. I don’t think I’ll ever wear skirts again. Is there anything I can do now to help stop the veins bulging so much – and if not, how can I get them treated?

The body goes through many changes during pregnancy and it’s the combined effects of increases in hormone levels and blood volume, along with pressure from the baby in the womb, that make this a time when women may develop varicose veins for the first time.

Treating varicose veins while you’re still pregnant is not recommended, but if they’re painful then wearing compression stockings during the day will help with the symptoms. After giving birth you’ll probably find that the veins will improve in appearance, but if you don’t have them treated they will still worsen with time. I usually advise treatment as early as possible, as this means they’ll require a less extensive procedure, producing better long-term results.

There is no benefit to delaying treatment until after you have completed your family, because if you have another child your veins may become more extensive and more challenging to treat with the next pregnancy.

Newer surgical techniques mean varicose veins can now be treated under local anaesthetic as a walk-in, walk-out procedure with quick recovery, allowing you to dedicate your time to the new addition to your family.

Simon Hobbs


Simon Hobbs is a consultant vascular surgeon at Nuffield Health Wolverhampton. Got a question for the panel? Email experts@gurgle.com.

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