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Varicose Veins in Pregnancy

Advice on varicose veins in pregnancy - what they are and how to prevent and treat them.

Varicose veins are common during pregnancy because of the hormonal changes taking place in the first ten weeks of pregnancy. These changes cause the blood vessel walls to relax and combined with increased blood volume during pregnancy, the veins in your legs can bulge - resulting in varicose veins.

During the later stages of pregnancy the weight of your baby can press on the veins in the groin. This can slow down blood flow and put pressure on the leg veins.

Varicose veins are often hereditary so you will be more likely to get them during pregnancy if either of your parents have them.

Many women find varicose veins in their first pregnancy improve once they have had the baby. However, by the second and third pregnancies the leg veins can become less elastic and may not go back to their pre-pregnancy state.

Preventing varicose veins during pregnancy

A recent study in the Journal of Vascular Surgery found that in a study of over 17,000 women that “The results of our meta-analysis suggest that the odds for women with a history of pregnancy in developing varicose veins significantly increases by 82%”

But before you feel suffering from varicose veins is inevitable, remember that prevention is the best way of dealing with varicose veins.

Keeping active is also important, combined with good skin care and wearing compression hosiery to support your legs as soon as you have conceived.

How does hosiery help your legs?

Activa® graduated compression hosiery helps push blood back up towards your heart. The gentle squeeze from the hosiery on your stops legs feeling heavy and tired. Swollen ankles at the end of the day is common during pregnancy and wearing compression hosiery can prevent this.

A pair which stop below the knee are probably all you need and won’t get in the way of the bump.

You may prefer a thigh length pair if you have sore or prominent veins at the back of your knee.

Great looking legs!

Choose from our patterned and ribbed socks or opt for silky smooth - your perfect pair is waiting for you!

Activa® hosiery is clinically proven and is prescribed by nurses and doctors throughout the NHS.

Compression hosiery on prescription

If your GP or midwife feels you are at risk of vein problems then compression hosiery is free on prescription during pregnancy.

What should I do next?

If you have any concerns about the condition of your legs, it may be appropriate for your legs to be professionally assessed. Speak to your doctor, nurse or midwife who can give you a more thorough examination.

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