Pregnancy and Its Impact on Veins: What You Need to Know

pregnant woman with concerns about vein conditions

Pregnancy can be a happy, exciting experience for moms-to-be, despite its many side effects that can come and go during this time. Spider veins and varicose veins are common while you’re pregnant, so it helps to know more about why they form and how you can prevent related complications.

Here’s what you need to know about pregnancy and veins and how to contact The Vein Institute of Hunterdon (TVI) to learn more about veins treatment.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are large, twisted veins that may bulge out of your skin. They usually develop on the thighs and on the fronts and backs of your legs, but they can also develop near the ankles and feet.

When you are pregnant, your body pumps extra blood, and your uterus expands to support your growing baby. These factors can often lead to the development of varicose veins. Many times, varicose veins will go away on their own after you give birth. However, sometimes the veins stick around and trigger symptoms.

Early pregnancy veins usually develop on the inner thighs, buttocks and lower part of the pelvis. Varicose veins treatment may include sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy, VenaSeal and/or endovenous laser therapy. Your provider will access your varicose veins and discuss the appropriate treatment option for you.

Spider Veins

Spider veins are small veins that are visible under the skin but do not bulge out of the skin like varicose veins. These veins are usually red in color, resemble tree branches or spider webs and show up on the legs or face. During pregnancy, like varicose veins, spider veins develop due to excess weight and pressure being placed on veins in the lower body.

Compared to varicose veins—which can cause symptoms including swelling, pain and discomfort—spider veins are usually only an aesthetic concern and cause no symptoms. Sclerotherapy is the most common treatment for spider veins and involves injecting a solution into the veins that cause them to collapse and disappear.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Pregnant women are at higher risk for developing blood clots, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVTs are more likely to occur during pregnancy because the growing baby puts excess pressure on blood vessels around the pelvis, which reduces blood flow to the legs.

DVTs are usually treated using anticoagulants (blood-thinning medications) that can prevent blood clots from forming. Your provider may ask you to stop taking these medications several weeks before childbirth to reduce heavy bleeding. In severe cases of DVT, surgery may be performed to remove a large blood clot or to prevent a blood clot from reaching the lungs.

Contact TVI at (908) 788-0066 to request an appointment if you are experiencing skin conditions that you think may be related to varicose veins. Our vein specialists can talk to you more about how to safely treat your veins—including during pregnancy.