Heart & Blood Conditions

Expert reports about Heart & Blood Conditions


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN HAVE VARICOSE VEINS DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are superficial veins that have become enlarged, twisted, and swollen, due to blood leaking backwards through valves that have evolved to keep blood running in one direction. Blood normally flows toward the heart, which in the case of your legs or lower torso means upward, against the direction of gravity. Hormonal changes during pregnancy make the walls of your veins more flexible than usual, while the growing womb puts pressure on deep veins in your pelvis. Since deep veins are connected with superficial veins through a system of short connecting veins, a backlash of blood flow can develop, resisting the upward flow of blood through superficial veins in your legs. Typically, this happens in a great saphenous vein, the longest in the body, running along your leg, but it also can happen on superficial veins of the torso.


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