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Is there any way to prevent varicose veins during a second pregnancy if you developed them during your first pregnancy?

I had successful treatment for varicose veins that formed after my first pregnancy four years ago. I am now pregnant again and wonder if there is any way to prevent new varicose veins the first time around? If I do get varicose veins again, will treatment be as effective the second time around?


Doctors Answers (4)

I would recommend wearing medical grade compression hose to help improve venous blood return and prevent the formation of varicose veins. Frequent walking is also beneficial for the veins and general fitness during your pregnancy.

I would prescribe graded compression throughout the pregnancy. Talk with your doctor about this.

Varicose veins are an inherited lifelong condition which is usually aggravated by normal pregnancy. If you got varicosities with the first pregnancy, the chances are good you will get new veins with subsequent pregnancies. Fortunately, treatment is just as effective each time. Wearing properly fitted gradient 20-30 mm compression stockings will not prevent new veins, but will help lessen the damage.

As this is an inherited trait, there is no way to actually prevent veins from developing. However, wearing a good quality medical grade compression hose, preferably thigh length in at least 20-30 mmHg pressure can help slow down the process. I often recommend to increasing to 30-40 mmHg pressure in the last trimester. This will keep superficial vessels compressed and decrease the dilatation which occurs in pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Many women like the pantyhose later also as it gives some abdominal support but they should be specially designed for pregnancy. Once your hormones have returned to normal post-delivery/breast feeding, if there are new veins present and causing you problems, I would recommend a reevaluation including ultrasound examination. This will determine the deeper cause, if any, of the varicose veins and appropriate treatment. You may not develop new vein if the underlying problem is treated. There is no way to predict what will occur. Good luck.

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