Pregnancy guide


The large, swollen blood vessels(varicose veins) are found predominantly in the legs, but that can show up anywhere in the lower half of your body (vulva, rectum).
Hemorrhoids are varicose veins in the area around your rectum.

What causes varicose veins during pregnancy?

The extra volume of blood you produce during pregnancy puts an extra pressure on your blood vessels, especially the veins in your legs. The vessels have to work against gravity to push all that extra blood back to your heart.
The pressure your burgeoning uterus puts on your pelvic blood vessels, the vessel-relaxing effects of the extra progesterone your body is producing: all these are the perfect recipe for varicose veins by around the third trimester of your pregnancy.

What you need to know

You probably don’t like the way varicose veins look, but they’re unlikely to put either you or your baby at any risk.
In most cases your varicose veins will disappear within a few months after you give birth. If you have another baby, there’s no way of preventing varicose veins: the same veins are likely to pop out again. You can think about having them medically treated or surgically removed after the baby has arrived.
There’s some remote risk that a varicose vein could become inflamed, possibly indicating a blood clot: in this case you have to call your doctor.

What you can do.
  • Keep your legs elevated when sitting.
  • Get moving.
  • Wear clothes and underwear that fit well.
  • Watch your weight.
  • Sleep on your left side.
  • Don’t strain.
  • Get your daily dose of vitamins.

For further information

Guide summary