Varicose veins are a serious concern among women and can make their veins look bruised. Such veins are caused due to a multiple reasons, one of them being pregnancy.
Varicose veins are veins under the skin of the legs, which have become widened, bulging, and twisted. Varicose veins often run in families and there may be a hereditary component. Women are more likely to suffer from varicose veins and up to 50% of women may be affected. Hormonal factors including puberty, pregnancy, menopause, the use of birth control pills, and HRT affect the disease. It is very common for pregnant women to develop varicose veins during the first trimester.
- Defective valves from birth (congenitally defective valves)
- The use of birth control pills
- Standing for a long time and having increased pressure in the abdomen may lead to varicose veins, or may make the condition worse.
- Fullness, heaviness, aching, and sometimes pain in the legs
- Visible, swollen veins
- Mild swelling of ankles
- Brown color of the skin at the ankles (in more severe cases)
- Skin ulcers near the ankle (in more severe cases)
Signs and tests
The diagnosis is made based on the appearance of the leg veins when you
are standing or sitting with your legs dangling. The doctor may order a duplex ultrasound exam of the extremity:
- To see blood flow in the veins
- To rule out other problems with the legs (such as a blood clot)
- Avoid standing for too long
- Raise your legs when resting or sleeping
- Wear elastic support hose
- Vein stripping is surgery to remove varicose veins in the legs. It is usually only done in patients who are having a lot of pain or who have skin sores. Has largely been replaced by laser and RF ablation therapy.
- Laser ablation – Endovenous laser therapy using a Diode laser through a small needle stick the laser is passed through over a guide wire and sheath and the vein is lasered till it collapses as confirmed by ultrasound technology.
- Radiofrequency ablation – it is similar to laser therapy in approach but uses radiofrequency waves for the purpose of ablation.