Varicose Veins - Pregnancy

Updated on July 30, 2008
V.S. asks from Lima, OH
30 answers

I have always had spider veins, ever since I can remember when I was young. Once I got pregnant, I developed varicose veins, but only 2 (1 in each leg). I think it is the sephenous vein in both legs. Spider veins and varicose veins both run in my family (my grandmother has a lot of them). Nobody in my family has ever had any trouble with them other than that they hurt occasionally, but that is it. My grandmother is now 73 years old and still going strong.

My question is, my daughter is now 4 months old and these veins are not diminishing. When I was pregnant and developed these, they would hurt every now and then, but only when I would sit for long periods of time. Same as now. If I get up and walk around, I feel great. At night time, I am putting a pillow underneath my knees to help elevate my legs. I read online that wearing support stockings will help, but I cannot use them because it is hot at my work and these would just make me sweat. Is there a possibility that these will go away or am I stuck with them for life? I am going to a vein care specialist hopefully within the next few weeks because I would like to have beautiful legs again before I go on vacation this year. Since they hurt every once in awhile, do you think my insurance would cover it? I have very good insurance and I know when I had gone there a few years back for my spider veins, which I never got taken care of, the doctor told me that if the veins do not hurt generally insurance doesn't cover it, especially for spider veins. Since I am dealing with varicose veins, I would hope they would be covered. I was just curious if anybody out there has had the same problem as I am. My veins aren't popping out really bad. Just very noticeable. I have not noticed any hot or red areas on my legs either for blood clots so I have been keeping an eye out for that.

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So What Happened?

Thank you for the responses. I ended up going to a vein specialist and they did a free screening of your veins there to see if there is any problems with blood flow or a big concern. My doctor told me that it's probably still the stress from the pregnancy and that the varicose vein should go down in another 2-4 months. He said that if I end up developing more, then I would probably need to see them again, but right now it doesn't look to be a big concern. I will probably get the spider veins taken care of after my husband and I have had all of the children we will have. No point in spending $1,000 to get rid of the veins and end up having them coming back!!!

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J.G.

answers from Eugene on

I've got one better. Have you ever heard of Grape Seed Extract??? It is a total miracle. I had two GIGANTIC varicose veins one on each leg when I was pregnant with my last baby- she's 7 1/2 months old now. Well, I started taking GSE (Grape Seed Extract) when I was still pregnant with her. Now you wouldn't even know that I had varicose veins. My spider veins are even clearing up some too. I also have to mention that I had one of the veins since I had my first baby 10 years ago! And don't even see it anymore! This extract is amazing! Look it up and do some research about it. I found a great little pill from a great company and it only costs $21 for a months supply- and they come HIGHLY recommended.

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S.U.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi Victoria, just a heads up re: removal. I'm glad you're expecting $1,000 (plus). I had spider vein removal done in April and quite frankly, they're still there. I had it done by a reputable dermatologist office in Raleigh. I called the doc and talked to her after the healing, she stated that sometimes it takes multiple treatments (which was a disclaimer on paper but it was never directly communicated to me, it was insinuated that they would be gone). I pretty much suffered through 6 weeks of looking like I had been maimed by a mad tiger, and they were still there afterwards. I wish this had been stressed to me, so I thought I'd share to avoid huge disappointment. Mine were minimal, so I fully expected them to be gone. Good luck, I hate these things LOL.

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K.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

My mom just had her varicose veins taken care of (mine are just beginning). She had pain in hers for YEARS and it was well documented in her charts. She is only 50, and also has awesome helth insurance. The health insurance faught the surgery for over 9 months before they agreed to pay. She had to go through months of taking medicines and documenting that she wore the stockings and that none of these things helped with the pain. :( So chances are, even with good insurance, it will not be covered sorry. I have support stockings, I wear them occassionally, they do help a lot, but I stand at work for almost 12 hours at a time and mine continue to get worse :( BEST OF LUCK!

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M.W.

answers from Huntington on

I developed vv with my 3rd pregnancy and they kept getting worse with each one (I have 7 kids), but are okay between pregnancies. So, this is what I have discovered;
Support stockings help to a point, but are unbearable in this heat. Vit E supliments help, but only if it is the more expensive, natural (d-alpha) form. The synthetic form (dl-alpha) didn't do a thing, so much for saving money. Horse chestnut suppliments help too, but drinking an ounce of Goji juice, (in a glass of some fruit juice) everyday helped more than anything else. Using the Goji juice seemed to equally as well, no matter which brand I used. There are herbal companies that have herbal combos just for vv, Natures Sunshine makes "Variplex" and Mountain Meadow makes "Varigone" these were not available when I was having my kids, so no personal experience with them, but I've heard good things about both.
M.

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R.B.

answers from Chicago on

Before you do any vein obliterating or stripping, I would strongly suggest you see a Naturopathic Doctor. I have terrible varicose and spider veins in my legs from being pregnant 3 times with rather big babies, a mom who also had varicose veins, and me now much older and overweight. I went to the Naturopath and she told me to take VENOCAP by Thorne. It contains Horsechestnut extract (very good to make veins healthy again), Gotu kola extract, Diosmin, Witch-hazel, Oligomeric proanthocyanidins, Butcher's broom extract. A Naturopath can give you things that can help get your body healthy again instead of taking things out which can cause even more problems. I don't expect my veins to disappear, given my age and how long I've had them, but just after taking the VENOCAP a few weeks, I could actually tell that they have improved. They have discovered that stripping can cause many problems including the vein actually growing back. They have other techniques now, like laser treatments that seal the vein closed from the inside, which they won't find out the side effects to for many years down the road. I have heard reports of people getting their spider veins injected and actually ending up with scares that look like burns, probably from the chemical they use because the veins are so close to the top of the skin. I would try the Naturopath first. If you're still not happy, go for the big guns, just do your own research before you do anything drastic. Don't just listen to what the docs say. Check it out yourself.

Take Care and Enjoy that baby!

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A.D.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi Victoria, I just heard of another option! If you are open to it, I've heard of women having success with cranial sacral therapy and/or EFT. Both are alternative therapies with the probability of helping with many other issues than just the veins. Maybe even call around to practitioners and see if they think they can help with that before you see them. Even at $80 a visit or so, it's WAY cheaper than surgery (and you usually don't need too many visits either)!

1 mom found this helpful

S.B.

answers from New York on

Victoria,
I missed this question when you first posted it.
I know of something non-invasive that will clear up your spider veins and do it pretty cheaply. The Galvanic Spa, put out by NuSkin, helps to increase blood flow to reduce swelling (even celulite!). You can find information about it at www.Galvanic2.com
If you are interested in purchasing, or just finding out more information, then e-mail me. [email protected]____.com
I don't think the website has before and after pictures for vericose veins, but I have some saved in my e-mail folders.
S.

1 mom found this helpful

C.O.

answers from New York on

Victoria - You may have heard about this already but I can recommend something for you. I am an Independent Consultant with Arbonne International which is a health and wellness company that makes products that are 100% botanically based. That means they are safe for use and because Arbonne has a very thorough testing period we will not put a product to market unless it does what we claim it will do.
We have a Leg & Vein formula (supplement) in our Longevity product line that you can take daily to help fight vericose veins. This formula includes Horse Chestnut which helps to strengthen the capillary wall. Research has shown that the use of Horse Chestnut helps to reduce the appearance of the vericose veins and because it is an herbal ingredient it is completely safe for everyday use.
If you have any interest in this product feel free to contact me, or visit my website at www.christienne.myarbonne.com
Hope that helps!
C.

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T.K.

answers from Los Angeles on

I've only been pregnant once (TWINS). I had great legs before.... really (was a runner). Wore skirts all the time. Since the twins, I won't wear skirts/shorts/anything that shows my legs. My varicose veins, especially in my left leg, are horrible. (I never even had spider veins before- and I'm in my 40's). I believe my mom had these, but I can't remember (she died a few years ago). I went to the vein specialist, etc. The screening was NOT free ($85. after it was submitted to my insurance). I was told that even WITH my insurance, it would cost me about $3K+ to get these veins treated. Unfortunately, mine are not painful (yet). I know that I need to pretend they are, in order to get insurance to take notice. My kids are now 2-1/2. The veins are only getting worse and more unsightly as time goes on. They've even moved into the top of my foot and ankle! I haven't tried the hose. I can't imagine that they would in any way reduce these things. Good luck to YOU. Unfortunately, until I win the lottery, I will not be able to fix my varicose veins.

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C.W.

answers from Jacksonville on

hello victoria...i have 7 kids also...i also had vein surgery on my left leg for the same problem your going through now...the surgery was 13 years ago...the veins came back the next time i got preggo...in my case and opinion...they never go away...it just depends on your body weight and how much your on your feet daily...also standing in one spot brings them out...to help it out you can always elevate the leg or legs that are hurting while yoy are washing dishes, working, standing in one spot for to long....i feel you on the support hose...even in the a/c they are uncomfortable...you can also try the knee wraps...the black ones...just a little bit of preasure pressing on the back your leg helps out if you cant prop your feet up....good luck!

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K.P.

answers from Albany on

I have varicose veins. Never had them before until I had my two boys. They progressively got worse as my pregnancies went to term. My second son is now 2 and I recently went to a vein specialist because like you mine just hurt. They make my legs feel heavy and just gross. The specialist told me that my veins are caused by excessive standing and sitting. I too have heriditary issues. All girls in my family have them. They are going to perform a laser treatment on my veins this winter, because it is just too hot to wear the support stockings in the summer. Widening them I guess. The treatment is covered my most insurances. I dont know what state you are in, so I'm not sure. It is considered medically necessary instead of cosmetic, then it is covered.
Let me know if this helps.
Good luck.

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

I, too, have had varicose veins since I was young (probably in my teens) and it runs in my family. My grandmother had hers 'stripped' three times in her lifetime. Mine hardly bothered me with my first pregnancy but during the second they felt worse. I wore support hose at night to make them feel better; they are great but during the summer they are impossible to wear. When my second was about a year old, I had my varicose veins removed and it made a HUGE difference. My legs look better and feel great. Spider veins are removed separately and require a different kind of treatment (I haven't done mine yet). For me, the surgery and spider vein treatment was not covered by insurance. The surgery was well worth the money for me since the pain I had when the veins flared up was agonizing. If yours isn't that bad, try wearing support hose (even the ones that just go to the thigh) when you are in a cool place (lol) to keep the veins in check and then see if they get worse before you get them removed. Especially if it's not covered by insurance, it can get pretty pricey. Good luck!

S.

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G.A.

answers from Dallas on

I went to a doctor years ago for the veins and this one doctor in Lewisville would have done the spider veins for free. He could not see injecting salt and water into veins and charging a fortune. Check around. If I had had surgery at that time I would have had to pay $10,000 and was approved by the surgeons to do it but I had no good insurance and could not afford that on my own. Now approaching 60 my veins are horrible like my moms. But my veins also stick out in my hands and feet. So do it when you are young. It sort of hurts but you can not swim for about 6 weeks. I think worth it in young women. Good Luck. Wish I could remember the doctor. Dr Slezak recommended them. Because of having a baby those will probably go away and yes your insurance could cover them. I never had them bad until later years and they are hereitary. I do know a walking group I was in all admitted they had the surgery and the veins came back too. Support stockings I agree are too hot. I tried to wear them and mom sent me a deal where they are mail order and more comfortable then others and the doctors recommended them all the time even with shorts. There is no way. At my age I do not have to beautiful and some traits today are just an age process. I think by my that poem about the purple hat is where I stand wear the purple hat and not care what others think. We want to be comfortable at my age. Good luck G. W

M.A.

answers from Dallas on

Hey Victoria,

I have a skin care, health and wellness company. We have an excellent product for leg veins.

Please let me know if you'd like more information.

Thanks and God bless!

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C.A.

answers from Chicago on

Hi Victoria,
I think it's best to call your insurance. Some plans do cover it and some consider vein surgery to be cosmetic, therefore not be covered. Either way your plan insurance plan administrator determines what is covered by the plan. I have had 2 pregnancies and had not experienced the vein problems.It may be genetic. Talk with your doctor to see if what he thinks. I didn't gain a lot of weight with my pregnancies. Keeping fit is good for your musculature.
C.

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J.B.

answers from Atlanta on

Hi Victoria, good luck with what every you decide. My father in law as very severe varicose veins and he takes the juice plus and it seems to help. He says his legs don't hurt as bad. check out my website and call me if you would like to add the product to your diet. www.juliesnutrition.com
Have a great day.

J.

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T.B.

answers from Phoenix on

Hi, may I suggest a topical cream that has helped me tremendously w/ the achyness of my vericose veins? It's called Horse Chesnut Cream. The company is Planetary Herbals. You can get it from Hi-Health. It helped my achiness after a few days of use. It took several months (about 3-4) before I noticed results of the puffiness of my vericose vein going down. Results vary for everyone of course. Hope it helps you!

T.

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A.C.

answers from Dallas on

My friend's sister had these varicose veins and not only it looks ugly but it's very painful. She needs to wear those special pantyhose to reduce the pain but in the summer it is just impossible to wear those pantyhose. She went to the specialist and was told to do the surgery that cost about $3000. There is no way she can afford it! Fortunately they heard from a friend introducing her some natural supplements, she tried and they work. After 3 or 4 months, the skin became smooth and pretty, the veins were gone. She was so happy. I do not know the regime but if you are interested to find out the information. I can give you my friend's phone number since she is not a computer person, just e-mail me @ [email protected]____.com or call me at ###-###-####.

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D.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

I am 57 and have had varicose veins since the lst of my 3 pregnancies(each getting worse, of course). I now hardly wear shorts at all. If you like the capri style, you're in business! I gave up skirts long ago. I've added weight slowly and steadily over the years, which doesn't help, and am not very active. Behind the knee hurts ocassionally; otherwise I do ok. Some are very big and bumpy; some are still spider veins. I hate to pass this on to my three daughters, but I guess we don't have a choice.
Take care of yourself now! Good luck. The best thing to do is find some creams and cover-up make-up, I think, plus keep the weight down (easier said than done). Eat healthy; exercise. And, ALSO, don't cross your knees (ankles only)!

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R.V.

answers from San Francisco on

Wow! I just got done reading all your reply's. I just wanted to thank you for asking this question. I have just been questioning how bad are my veins going to get as I am almost 7 months into my 4th pregnancy and what can I do about them. The nurse at my doctors gave me some knee high support hose to wear and I thought great ,it's summer. But I have been trying to wear them in the evening and to bed. Sexy. I really don't know if they do anything. I plan on talking to the doctor my next visit. This will be our last baby for many reasons but I can really see how progressivly harder it's gotten on my body with each one. I'll be looking into some of the suggestions you've gotten. Best of luck with yours.

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J.K.

answers from Fort Wayne on

Varicose veins also run in my family and yes they are very hereditary. I started having the true varicose veins (the bulging ones) during my first pregnancy and they did go down some afterwards. If you are nursing, hormones add to them taking longer to go away. Sadly to say the veins only got worse and more painful with each additional pregnancy. I have three kids now. I know with several doctors I spoke with, insurance wouldn't cover any procedures until you felt you were definitely done having children and then also went through additional methods of "easing the pain" (support hose, etc.) From everyone I've heard that has gone through this process, they say play up the pain as much as possible. If the doctors and insurance companies feel you can live with veins, they will fight the issue on covering the costs for any procedure. I have been back and forth with a true vascular surgeon for the past year to have something done now that I know I am done being pregnant. They have done ultrasounds on my legs to prove I have severe blockage in my superficial veins and hopefully with all these records, my insurance company will approve something to be done. So good luck with your adventure. I can't wait to get my legs back to normal.

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S.D.

answers from Chicago on

Hello Victoria, I glanced over the responses and I have to agree with the one who suggested EFT and cranial-sacral. One step further. Do several liver flushes. Are the worst of your veins on the right? This is the side the liver is on. May not be your problem but it is a thought. Find yourself a naprapath or a nutritionist or a holistic chiropractor to help. It takes time. We see this in our office many times over and over. Once the liver is healthy, the rest follows as far as the veins go. Follow their advice on how to do the cleanses. Opt for some wellness care. We are not drug or surgery deficient!

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V.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi Victoria - not sure if anyone has mentioned this, but using a self-tanner does help to hide spider and varicose veins. Also, I work as a transcriptionist from home and sit for long periods, so I periodically lie down and put my legs up in air for a few minutes from time to time (sorry for the silly description) and I do notice it helps with swelling, and also seems to improve veins temporarily. I take a supplement from Home Shopping Network -Andrew Lessman for circulation and vein support. It does help also with ankle swelling. It contains diosmin and other ingredients which I believe have been studied for effectiveness in Europe. Camino Medical Group Dermatology does injections for spider veins but I don't think that helps with actual varicose veins. Good luck and I am sure with all of the suggestions you have gotten, you will find relief. God Bless! :o)

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D.K.

answers from Indianapolis on

You also need to get a copy of the book PAIN FREE WOMEN by Pete Egoscue. There is DEFINITELY a restriction of blood flow. THAT'S what causes these, whether it be in the hip (normally) or back or a combination of locations.

When you reposition the structure (skeletal system) it, in turns repositions the neurological and circulatory systems, thus taking the pressure OFF and helps things function more normally.

In addition, you might want to go to the EGOSCUE website and e-mail a therapist who'll respond to your ?s and concerns.

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G.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

I'm in the same boat as you. Had vein stripping, but the underlying problem never goes away: leaky blood vessels. I'm surprised no one has mentioned this, but varicose veins are caused by weak valves, which is a hereditery problem. The valves are weak and do not push the blood very well, so it pools, causing the veins to bulge out. There's no way away around it, but lots of ways to deal with it, as indicated by some of the other responses. You ahve my sympathy!

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C.D.

answers from New York on

During my second pregnancy I developed 1 very bad vein on thigh. After birth it went down but is still noticable after 13 yrs. As long as it doesnt bother you physcially just deal with it its a mark of motherhood and bringing a life into this world.

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R.A.

answers from Boca Raton on

take dairy out of your diet, it promotes the veins. They run in my family, everyone has them except me, I'm the only one who doesn't consume dairy. http://www.cybermacro.com/forums/forum1/messages/164.html

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M.H.

answers from Melbourne on

Check out the herbs Horse Chestnut and Butcher's Broom. They help circulation in the legs and hemoroids. They take time to work and not an overnight cure. Also include probiotics. They are good for eveerything!

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S.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

I know that you have already gotten several advice bits, but I totally relate to your situation. I had know idea that varicose veins ran in my family, but I found out that my Grandma had them and eventually had them 'taken out'. I never had a problem with them until I got pregnant and around the 5th or 6th month, I had pain behind my legs just after a road trip. I was worried about the possibility of blood clots so I researched and talked to my doctor. No clots, just varicose veins. Mine actually hurt a lot before they actually were noticeable to the naked eye. The pain actually got me motivated to wear the stockings which helped the pain tremendously. The stockings are expensive if you get the right ones that actually help. They are called JOBST support hose. Don't get anything else. They have different support ranges depending on the severity. They don't get rid of the veins obviously, but they do help. From the research that I have done, they are the tightest and most supportive at the feet and ankle area so to keep the blood from pooling in those areas, and keep the blood flowing. From what I remember reading, the hose support push the blood inward to the other veins thus relieving some of the pressure of the varicose veins. I found them to be very helpful. I wore the thigh highs since I was pregnant and suggest them even if not pregnant. My insurance paid for some of the cost with buying the hose which was nice. I wore them every day during my pregnancy to help the pain and from them getting worse. The pain and bulging pretty much went away a few months after my first baby was born. After I got pregnant the second time, I wore them almost the whole 9 months. The pain was my motivation to wear them, and I think that they did help prevent them from getting worse and worse. My baby girl is 4 months now and the bulging is gone and the pain too unless, I sit for long periods and don't get enough excersize. I may have them removed if they become a problem in the future, but for now the pain is low and the visual aspect of them is minimal. Good luck.

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A.C.

answers from Cleveland on

My vericose veins first started when I was pregnant with my second child in 1995, and although they would somewhat go down (unless it was that time of month), they progressively got worst. While I was pregnant with my 6 child, there were a couple areas on my legs that my midwife was concerned with and so I saw a vein specialist. I don't know how it all worked with insurance, because he said he would take care of it so I didn't have to worry about a bill. I had the surgery after my son was born in 2005. It is not garanteed to work, especially if you decide to have more children like we did, but it did improve them. We have since had another baby and they started bulging again, but I am not good about wearing support hose, so I don't have anyone to blame but myself. I know it is not attractive, I was always bothered by them, but now, I don't even think about them.
Good luck with everything!

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