Varicose veins are a disease in which there is a thinning of the venous walls and an increase in the lumen of the blood flow, followed by the formation of nodular enlargements.
Varicose veins during pregnancy develop in 20-30% of women. Pathological changes most often occur in the veins of the lower extremities. Outwardly, the disease is expressed in the appearance of spider veins and asterisks. In advanced cases, swelling of the veins is observed. Clinical manifestations without external symptoms develop in about 80% of expectant mothers.
Symptoms of varicose veins during pregnancy
Symptoms of varicose veins depend on the current stage of the disease. Initially, the pathology causes minimal discomfort. As the condition worsens, the clinical picture also intensifies.
Early signs of abnormal varicose veins include:
- the formation of a vascular pattern indicating the area of the lesion - the calf, the area under the knees, the outer surface of the thigh - not painful to palpation;
- feeling of heaviness in the legs;
- rare cramps in the calf muscles at night.
In the absence of adequate therapy, the initial signs are added:
- changes in the venous pattern - protrusion of the walls of blood vessels, the formation of "nodes";
- deterioration of the condition of the skin;
- pain syndrome, accompanied by a feeling of fullness in the affected veins;
- the formation of trophic ulcers.
A similar clinical picture allows you to confirm the diagnosis without the appointment of studies. Further diagnostic methods are justified at an early stage of varicose veins, to exclude the development of diseases with similar symptoms.
Most often, varicose veins affect the veins of the lower extremities, but violations of the outflow of blood in the organs of the lower basal area and lips can be recorded during pregnancy.
This type of varicose veins is difficult to distinguish from standard gynecological pathologies. The condition is accompanied by symptoms typical for them:
- Pain in the lower abdomen.
- Abundant vaginal discharge.
- Discomfort during intimate relationships.
- Difficulty emptying the bladder.
An accurate diagnosis can only be made by a doctor during an examination in a chair. In this case, a change in the venous pattern of the vagina, the visible segment of the cervix, is clearly visible.
It is important to know! Untreated varicose veins in the low basal area can be the cause of infertility - a woman cannot get pregnant.
In rare cases, external manifestations of varicose veins appear in the lower basal area. Vascular networks and nodules can form in the buttocks, perineum, pubis and inner thigh.
reference! A woman with a severe form of varicose veins of the small pelvis will give birth by caesarean section.
That is why the disease proceeds in a latent form for a long time and is accompanied by the development of serious complications. These are vaginal and uterine bleeding, inflammation of internal organs, thrombosis and others.
Varicose veins of the lips are not uncommon during pregnancy. The risk of developing pathologies with each subsequent gestation only increases. After childbirth, the condition of the veins quickly returns to normal.
The signs of varicose veins of the lips are:
- The appearance of a characteristic venous pattern.
- Protrusion, lowering of the inflamed areas of the veins.
- Itching and dryness of the skin and mucous membranes.
- An increase in the size of the labia and vulva due to swelling.
- Painful sensations.
With varicose veins of the groin area, discomfort may occur:
- during urination and bowel movements;
- after sexual contact;
- after a prolonged session;
- While I was walking.
Complications of varicose veins
The signs of varicose veins appear in the second trimester, around 4-5 months of gestation. Venous pressure in the legs increases, which slows down the speed of blood flow. If a woman does not receive the necessary treatment, the disease becomes the cause of a difficult course of pregnancy, direct labor and the postpartum period.
Stagnation of blood in the veins of the small pelvis leads to poor contractility of the uterus, which can provoke severe bleeding, the development of arterial thrombosis.
Important! For a child, the pathological expansion of the veins of the lower extremities in the mother is not dangerous.
Diagnosis of varicose veins
The phlebologist is involved in the diagnosis. It is this doctor who selects the treatment and decides on the need to consult a vascular surgeon.
To diagnose venous pathology, a woman is assigned the following analyzes and instrumental tests:
- Ultrasound examination of the vessels of the lower limbs. The technique allows you to identify the degree of damage to the blood flow, assess the consistency of the valve apparatus, etc.
- General blood test. The leukocyte formula, the number of leukocytes and platelets are of diagnostic interest.
- Coagulogram. The study helps evaluate blood clotting indicators.
Treatment of varicose veins during pregnancy
Treatment of varicose veins during this period has some peculiarities. When the first signs appear, you should immediately seek medical help.
Important! The selection of drugs should be handled by a specialist, since drugs have their own contraindications for trimesters.
To increase vascular tone, pills can be prescribed that have an angioprotective effect, help reduce swelling and reduce pain syndrome. In addition, drug therapy relieves nocturnal cramps and improves cellular nutrition of inflamed tissues.
It is allowed to use traditional methods of treatment, for example, to prepare balms and herbal infusions for applying compresses. But first you need to consult your doctor.
Prevention of varicose veins during pregnancy
Prevention of varicose veins of the lower extremities during pregnancy is one of the most effective measures to prevent the development of the disease.
The daily diet should include foods that can provide the female body with the necessary vitamins and minerals. Is based on:
- complex carbohydrates: wholemeal bread, cereals, fresh vegetables and fruit;
- fish of low-fat or low-fat varieties;
- fillet of meat;
- poultry meat (it is imperative to remove the skin to reduce the calorie content);
- dairy products (best of all, medium fat).
It is necessary to limit the consumption of butter: during the day you can eat a piece that does not exceed 10 grams.
Prevention of excessive weight gain
One of the reasons for the development of varicose veins is accelerated weight gain. As a prophylaxis for excessive weight gain, fasting days are recommended for a woman.
There are several options:
- kefir (1, 5 l);
- apple (1. 5 kg);
- buckwheat (250 g of cereals);
- vegetables (1. 5 kg).
The daily ration of the chosen product - indicated in brackets - must be divided into 6 doses. You have to eat often, every 2 hours. The emergence of a strong feeling of hunger is unacceptable.
It is allowed to drink clean water during the day. Sugar and salt are completely excluded. By following the recommendations, you can lose up to 2 kg of weight in one day.
To improve blood circulation in the lower limbs and prevent the development of varicose veins, physical activity and frequent changes in the position of the legs will help.
During the day, you can do simple exercises:
- circular movements of the feet;
- lifting on the toes;
- rolls from toe to heel.
Positional therapy also serves as an excellent prevention of the development of varicose veins. The recommendations will be as follows:
- you cannot throw one leg over the other;
- when sitting in a chair, only the buttocks should touch it - it is undesirable to lean back;
- you need to sleep only on the left side, placing a pillow under the stomach - this position helps to reduce the pressure exerted by the uterus on the vessels located behind the peritoneum, which improves the outflow of blood from the legs.
Important! In addition to preventing varicose veins, sleeping on the left side helps prevent the development of uterine hypertonus.
Avoid provocative factors
Factors that provoke the development of varicose veins include:
- Compression of the enlarged uterus of the iliac veins. This impairs the outflow of venous blood. In the last months of pregnancy it can cause pathological enlargement of the veins of the vulva.
- Genetic predisposition. Heredity is one of the main reasons for the development of pathology.
- Change in hormone levels. An increase in progesterone levels that occurs during pregnancy causes a decrease in the tone of the venous wall and its elongation.
- Improved pelvic blood flow. During gestation, an activation of the uterine blood flow is observed, which leads to an increase in pressure in the venous system of the pelvis. The result is a violation of the outflow of blood from the legs.
Unfortunately, a woman is unable to control the development of many factors that provoke varicose veins, as they are due to physiology. But she is able to engage in daily physical activity, giving up a sedentary lifestyle. After all, being in a horizontal position and limiting movement is perhaps the most important factor in the formation of varicose veins. Stagnation of venous blood becomes the cause of pathological vasodilation.
It is necessary to strictly monitor the weight, as the extra pounds have a very negative effect on the condition of the veins.
Clothing and footwear
To reduce the strain on the veins, you need to wear comfortable shoes. Shoes should have a small heel - no higher than 5cm - stable. Complete failure and wearing, for example, ballet flats, significantly increases the pressure on the heels, and spider veins can form in the popliteal region.
Clothing must be made with breathable fabrics and not restrict movement. Any traction in the abdomen is strictly prohibited. Gynecologists recommend that women use a special prenatal brace, sometimes even in the early stages.
An important point is the use of compression stockings (anti-varicose tights will cause compression of the pregnant uterus). A phlebologist observing a woman should select the medical shirt, since only a specialist can calculate the required degree of compression, taking into account the current clinical picture and the stage of the disease.
Toilets and showers
A good therapeutic result is obtained by taking a contrast shower. The alternation of comfortably cool and warm water becomes available to prevent the development of varicose veins during pregnancy. The procedure improves vascular tone and prevents stagnation of venous blood. But too strong a temperature contrast can cause uterine contractions.
An alternative to the contrast shower would be a home remedy such as contrast baths with sea salt or herbal preparations.
Self-massage of the feet improves local blood flow and prevents varicose veins. Movements should be directed from the bottom up. To enhance the therapeutic effect, when the initial symptoms are detected, it is allowed to use anti-varicose ointments, creams and gels.
Operational methods for the treatment of pathology during pregnancy are practiced in rare cases. An exception is a rapidly progressing condition or a complication of existing varicose veins in the form of a trophic ulcer or ascending thrombophlebitis.
Surgical treatment is only allowed during the first 6 months of gestation. It is also possible to perform a hardening procedure.
The prognosis for life is favorable. Complicating the course of the disease can be:
- genetic predisposition;
- repeated pregnancies;
- multiple pregnancy;
- difficult childbirth;
- the age of the woman (the risk increases after the age of 35);
- the presence of superficial thrombophlebitis.
The onset of gestation against the background of existing varicose veins can increase the risk of blood clots and the development of deep vein thrombophlebitis.
Modern medicine has made significant progress in treating varicose veins. There are many different drugs and prevention methods that are safe for a woman and her child, especially special gymnastics.