The development or worsening of varicose veins during pregnancy is not uncommon and problematic for many women due to the discomfort they cause and their appearance. This article is intended to explain why varicose veins develop and what steps can be taken to resolve this problem. Although the predisposition to develop varicose veins during pregnancy is inevitable, certain simple measures can be taken to minimize the problem that affects men and women.

Varicose veins in the legs are just one manifestation of the vascular changes associated with pregnancy. Hemorrhoids, pronounced vascular changes in the abdomen (around the navel) and varicose veins are other changes in the venous vascular system during pregnancy. Blood volume increases during pregnancy, and blood stasis not only causes varicose veins, but also swelling, which often occurs in the ankles due to increased movement of fluids in the tissues. These changes are the result of physiological and anatomical changes during pregnancy.

There are some simple suggestions that can help alleviate the symptoms and overall severity of varicose veins. The suggestions I will make are worth considering because they are based on fundamentally sound scientific principles and are certainly not harmful.

The best example I can think of to explain why varicose veins are like a blood test:

When a tourniquet is placed on your arm to collect blood, be aware that it is not as firm as a blood pressure cuff. The purpose of using a tourniquet is to block the return of blood to the heart, thereby stretching the veins, which is a low pressure system. The pressure of a tourniquet is just strong enough to block the blood flowing through the veins and cause them to swell. On the other hand, if a blood pressure cuff is put on, the pressure applied is much higher. The purpose of blood pressure measurement is to determine the highest pressure required to block the arterial system.

Here are some simple suggestions:

1.) Do not cross your legs while seated. This has been said to many people and is especially important if done over a long period of time. The reason that the crossing of the legs can affect so-called venous stasis is an impaired circulation in the legs, not to mention the severity. Whether the crossing of the legs contributes to the deterioration of varicose veins or not, I can assure you that it does absolutely nothing against varicose veins and swelling of the lower limbs.

2.) Try to get up and train your legs frequently on long trips in your car or plane, as this will cause your leg muscles to contract and blood to return to the heart more easily. In addition, the accumulation of blood in the lower limbs can also contribute to the development of blood clots. The aviation industry recognizes this risk and you may have noticed that it makes suggestions to avoid phlebitis problems on long flights. Another example of the importance of muscle contractions for the return of blood to the heart is the often told story of soldiers who pass out if they stay alert for a long time. The muscular contractions and valves of the venous system ensure that the venous blood flow moves in the right direction.

3.) If possible, raise your legs to counter the aforementioned gravitational forces and possibly prevent varicose veins during pregnancy. As I will explain in the next articles, gravity alone contributes to swelling (edema) of the legs / ankles.

4.) Finally, you should consider compression stockings to maintain sufficient pressure on the superficial veins that are part of the venous circuit at low pressure. It also helps reduce swelling due to fluid retention when you get up during the day. It is imperative that you discuss the use of socks (Jobst, Teds, etc.) with your supplier and that you use socks that have the right pressure and fit correctly. In severe cases of varicose veins, medical companies’ stockings are actually measured and ordered by your provider. Do not use ankle or thigh socks with ribbons

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