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How To Get Rid Of Varicose Veins in Pregnancy

Do your veins suddenly look big and twisted as your pregnancy progresses? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Like many other pregnant women around you, you may be suffering from varicose veins. Did you know varicose veins are common pregnancy-related issues? Yes, as the baby grows and the demand on your body increases, your body struggles to keep up, thus leading to pregnancy varicose veins.

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What Are Pregnancy Varicose Veins?

When a woman’s veins bulge due to the extra pressure during pregnancy, they can look like twisted ropes running underneath the skin. These are known as pregnancy varicose veins. Sometimes, the veins may not bulge much but can turn blue or red. These are called spider veins. They can occur separately or along with varicose veins.

Why Varicose Veins In Pregnancy?

Pregnancy requires a woman’s body to do extra work. The developing baby needs blood, which means the mother’s body should produce and circulate more blood throughout the pregnancy. Her veins need to work more, which may not be easy for all women.

Some of the common causes of varicose veins in pregnancy are:

  • Increase In Blood Flow – An increase in blood flow during pregnancy can weaken the veins over time. When blood does not flow smoothly, it can pool up in places, leading to bulges in the veins or blood clots.
  • Increase in Pregnancy Hormone – Progesterone can relax the blood vessel walls and impact the valve’s functioning, thus causing the blood to pool.
  • Baby’s Position - Your baby’s position can add pressure to the blood vessels in the pelvic region, thus affecting the blood flow. This can lead to varicose veins in the vulva during pregnancy.
  • Multiple Babies - Carrying more than one baby will also increase the weight of the uterus and the pressure on the blood vessels.

Risk Factors Of Varicose Veins In Pregnancy

So, do all pregnant women suffer from varicose veins? No. Only some do. You are at a higher risk of varicose veins in pregnancy if:

  • You are consuming a sodium-rich diet, as excess salt can retain water in your body and increase your weight.
  • You are not consuming enough fibre as it can affect your digestion
  • Women in your family suffered from varicose veins during pregnancy.

How To Prevent Varicose Veins In Pregnancy

Though varicose veins are quite common in pregnancy, especially for women with a family history of the same, there is no certainty that you will experience varicose veins. If you fall under the high-risk category, you must be proactive to reduce the severity or impact of varicose veins. The following tips can help.

  1. Move regularly - It can be tempting to sit or lay around most of the day, especially during the third trimester or if you carry more than one baby. These are also the reasons why you may develop varicose veins. So, exercise and move regularly to improve the blood flow through the veins. Avoid sitting or standing in the same place for long.
  2. Manage Weight – Increased pressure on your blood vessels can cause the veins to bulge. Maintaining a good body weight as per recommendation can reduce the severity.
  3. Feet Up – Varicose veins in the legs are very common during pregnancy. Keep your feet on a pillow to reduce the pressure on those veins. Also, avoid crossing your legs at the knees or ankles, as it can obstruct the blood flow.
  4. Compression Hose – If you are suffering from severe varicose veins, compression stockings can help increase the pressure on the veins, thus making them transport more blood. These stockings will be tight at the ankles and feet and be looser on top.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins In Pregnancy

Fatigue and body aches are common during pregnancy. How do you know if you suffer from varicose veins or cramps during pregnancy? Here are a few symptoms to pay attention to:

  • You experience more leg cramps.
  • The areas around the bulging vein feel itchy.
  • You feel pain, tenderness, and a throbbing pain in your legs.
  • Legs and ankle start swelling.
  • The skin around the varicose vein seems different in colour.

Also Read : How to handle leg cramps during pregnancy

How to treat Varicose Veins in Pregnancy?

Management of varicose veins in pregnancy can be a little tricky. As your pregnancy progresses, the pressure on your blood vessels and veins will only increase. However, you can try the following to ease your symptoms:

  1. Avoid standing for long periods at a stretch. If you have to stand, try to take frequent breaks.
  2. Wear compression stockings or pants if needed. The design is such that they are tight around the ankles and calves and get looser closer to the waistline. So, don’t worry, there won’t be any pressure on your baby.
  3. Keep your legs slightly elevated, using a footstool or a pillow when you sit down. Do not cross your legs, as it will increase the pressure on the veins, thus increasing the varicosities
  4. Exercise regularly. Opt for walking and mild exercises that keep you on the move without much strain. The movement will promote better blood flow, thus easing the blocks and bulges.
  5. Try sleeping on your left side with a pillow between your knees. This helps to ease the pressure on the inferior vena cava, though no scientific proof exists that this position can help reduce or treat varicose veins during pregnancy.


Varicose veins during pregnancy are a very uncomfortable experience, but you cannot avoid or treat it completely. Various remedies can help you reduce the severity and ease the discomfort. Do seek medical help in case of any doubts or concerns over varicose veins. The good news is varicose veins will get better in two or three months after pregnancy. If it doesn’t improve over time, you can seek professional help.


1. How can varicose veins be avoided during pregnancy?

If you are at risk of developing varicose veins during pregnancy, keep moving around, exercising, eating a well-balanced diet, and wearing compression stockings. Sleeping on your side or keeping your feet elevated can also help.

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