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Learn About Varicose Veins & Pregnancy

Many women are concerned about developing varicose and spider veins during pregnancy. It is true that the combination of genetic predisposition with female hormones during pregnancy can lead to varices. Calgary Vein & Laser is pleased to provide the following information to keep you informed. If you have further questions, please feel free to fill out our information request form.

How Does Pregnancy Affect My Legs?

Numerous changes occur during the course of pregnancy. There is an increase in hormone secretion resulting in the relaxation of the vein walls. This leads to the formation of varicose and spider veins. In addition, an increase in the blood volume and pressure from the uterus cause congestion in the veins. Some women discover they are pregnant before a positive test because of the discomfort in their legs.

Are Varicose & Spider Veins Permanent?

Many varices occurring during pregnancy disappear spontaneously following delivery. Residual varices, large or small, which are still seen 2 months after your child is born, are permanent. These veins will disappear only with treatment.

What If My Legs Swell?

Pregnant women frequently suffer from swelling of their legs, especially during the final months. Your gynecologist should check your blood pressure because this condition may indicate pregnancy toxemia. If your blood pressure is normal, it is possible that the swelling, also called edema, may be associated with poor circulation due to varices.

Is Treatment Recommended?

Because many varices disappear after delivery, treatment is recommended 2 months following delivery or else at the end of the breast-feeding period.

What Can I Do Now?

Keep in mind that 30 minutes of walking with compression stockings equals 1 hour of free massage.

The symptoms which accompany varices such as tiredness, heaviness and edema may be relieved or improved by the following measures which restrict venous dilation:

Compression Stockings

There are 2 kinds to consider: light and medium weight. The latter may be considered less attractive by some women but give better support. From the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy, maternity stockings that have an extensible upper panel should be worn.


Walking and swimming are 2 forms of exercise which provide great relief.


Avoid long periods of standing still. Elevate at rest and elevate the legs slightly.


At rest, elevate the legs slightly.


Avoid heat, such as sunbathing and hot baths.

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