Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Spider and Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

What type of veins develop during pregnancy?

The most common types of veins women can develop during pregnancy are spider veins and varicose veins.

What are the differences?

Varicose Veins Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen veins that bulge near the surface of the skin. They usually look like squiggly lines and are most likely show up in your legs. Although less common, they can appear on your ankles, feet, and even vulva. Spider Veins Spider veins are small red or bluish veins that are typically on the legs but can appear on the face or elsewhere. They resemble a branch or have spider web pattern.

What causes them?

An increase in the amount of blood the blood vessels need to pump from the extremities to the heart causing a burden on the veins. This can cause the blood to pool in one area if the veins are not pumping the blood fast enough. Spider and varicose veins can develop due to hereditary factors. If one of both of your parents has these veins, it’s likely that you will develop them, especially during pregnancy. Are there any symptoms other than appearance?

Are there any symptoms other than appearance?

  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Calf pain
  • Burning feeling in the legs
  • Sores or easy bleeding
  • Changes in the color of the skin
  • Scaling or inflammation of your skin
  • Swelling in legs, not just ankles, and feet
  • Burning in your legs
  • Itchy skin over the top of the vein

Are they serious?

Although they may hurt and cause pain or itching, they are generally harmless during pregnancy.
Varicose veins can, however, cause blood clots near the skin’s surface that can cause swelling, redness pain and tenderness in the affected area.

Can I prevent them?

There are steps you can take to help prevent varicose and spider veins during your pregnancy.
  • Watch your weight
  • Sleep on your left side
  • Don’t strain while using the restroom
  • Take your daily vitamins!

Self Care

What can you do at home to relieve the pain?

  • Exercise daily
  • Wear loose clothing
  • Avoid wearing high heels
  • Elevate your legs
  • Compression stockings
  • Don’t cross your legs or ankles while sitting
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time

Other treatment options

Typically, varicose veins and spider veins disappear after birth, especially if you didn’t have these veins before you became pregnant.
If for some reason the varicose veins do not disappear after birth, treatment options are available to have them surgically removed.


Varicose veins tend to get better after birth, typically within 3-4 months. Sometimes it may take longer.

Do exercises daily. This includes a fast walk around the neighborhood, anything helps.
Generally, they are not serious but only a temporary annoyance. They can cause itching or dull pain and be undesirable in the aesthetics but livable. For women with circulation issues, they can lead to more serious conditions over time causing swelling, changes in the skin and sores that don’t heal well or at all. You should see a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

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