Pregnant and Now Have Painful Pelvic Varicose Veins?
Pregnancy is one of the leading risk factors for varicose veins. Some research indicates 40% of pregnant women will develop them!
Are Pelvic Varicose Veins Dangerous for Your Baby?
If you're currently pregnant, it may be helpful to know that varicose veins are unlikely to be dangerous for you or your baby. After delivery your varicose veins often start to get better on their own.
But sometimes, varicose veins during pregnancy may be associated with a condition known as pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS). Keep reading to learn about PCS and how our vein physicians in Fairbanks, AK can help you or your loved one address it.
Why Do Women Get Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS)?
Varicose veins can develop during pregnancy due to multiple factors, including weight gain, hormonal changes in the body, and increased blood volume. A growing baby bump can also increase pressure on the largest vein in your body, known as the inferior vena cava. If this happens, varicose veins can develop in the pelvic area. This is known as pelvic congestion syndrome (PCS), or ovarian vein reflux.
Signs and symptoms of PCS (which can happen with or without pregnancy) include:
- Varicose veins in the pelvis, vulva, vagina, inner thighs, buttocks, and/or legs
- Pain, pressure, aching, and/or unusual sensations around the pelvis and lower abdomen, which usually persists for at least six months
- Pain that gets worse during or after sex, after prolonged standing, during late pregnancy, before menstruation, or at night
- A feeling of "fullness" or heaviness in the legs
- New or worsened stress incontinence or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
PCS usually happens in younger women, especially women who have had multiple pregnancies. This could be due to repeated physiological and mechanical changes which affect a woman's pelvic veins. PCS can also occur in non-pregnant women who have polycystic ovaries or certain other conditions.
Are Pelvic Varicose Veins Easy to Treat? Finding Treatment in Fairbanks, Alaska
Pelvic varicose veins are treatable. However, treatment type and outcome will vary from person to person. Success with treatment depends on things like a woman's overall health, her age, and the severity of her PCS.
At our vein clinic in Fairbanks, AK, we diagnose PCS through techniques such as MRI, ultrasound, blood tests, urine tests, and physical exam. Based on the diagnosis and your overall presentation, we can offer a range of treatments including medication, surgery to remove or close off the damaged veins, and lifestyle changes to help facilitate better vascular health.
If your PCS is accompanied by varicose veins in the legs, your physician may also recommend compression stockings. These can improve blood flow in your legs and improve the pain and appearance of your varicose veins.
Pregnant With Vein Problems? Experience the Alaska Center for Vein Restoration’s Exceptional Practice
Pregnancy changes your body in many ways. If varicose veins or PCS is one of these changes, we encourage you to meet Our Vein Physician in Fairbanks, AK and get started on an individualized treatment plan. Call us for details about our Fairbanks location or to schedule an initial appointment.