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Pregnancy plays a role in the development of varicose veins. Thirty percent of women pregnant for the first time, and 55 percent of women who have had two or more full-term pregnancies develop varicose veins, according to a report by Swiss Medical Weekly. Women who are pregnant are also at a high risk for the development of a Deep Vein Thrombosis, known as DVT. One reason is due to the increased blood volume at full term. Additionally, pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase blood coagulability, a measure of how easily blood clots. Wearing compression socks can help keep your legs healthy during pregnancy and beyond.
Venous disorders and leg health problems are among the most frequent medical conditions in North America. You may experience these conditions for the first time during pregnancy. For example, swollen feet, tired aching legs and a feeling of heaviness in the legs are among everyday symptoms that pregnant women may experience. These symptoms are especially frequent when:
Women who are pregnant are at a high risk for the development of a Deep Vein Thrombosis, known as DVT. One reason is due to the increased blood volume at full term. Additionally, pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase blood coagulability, a measure of how easily blood clots. The expanding uterus puts pressure on blood vessels, restricting blood flow from the legs and pelvis back to the heart. Slower blood flow increases the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis. The risk continues during the post-partum period until the woman’s hormonal levels return to their pre-pregnancy state.
Effect of pregnancy on the venous system
During pregnancy, many hormonal changes occur in the body that has a profound effect on the veins. Blood volume increases between 40 percent to 50 percent, while increased amounts of progesterone cause the vein walls to dilate and become less elastic.
Clinical studies show that graduated compression stockings are beneficial and should be a mainstay in relieving symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Graduated compression hosiery is the most effective way to prevent edema or swelling. It also alleviates leg pain and heaviness and contributes to preventing spider veins or varicose veins. When using compression hosiery, the compression should be graduated, with the strongest pressure at the ankles and decreasing as it goes up the leg. When you discover the benefits and comfort of compression stockings during pregnancy, you may want to continue wearing them for years after, and your legs will thank you for their improved health.
SIGVARIS offers a wide range of stockings designed to promote women’s leg health during pregnancy. Our stockings are available in several textures, fashionable colors, and styles to match your needs. Consult your doctor to obtain a prescription for the appropriate SIGVARIS product and compression strength for your condition.
Compression Care Center carries a variety of maternity stockings. View our maternity collections HERE