Spider veins are relatively common during pregnancy and typically painless and harmless. Around 50% of expecting mothers get some degree of spider veins or varicose veins. In many cases, they simply shrink and go away after delivery. In some other cases, they can persist. Fortunately, treatment options are simple and pain free.

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are simply swollen veins that are visible just under the surface of the skin. They look like spidery purplish lines and most often appear on the legs, because the veins there have to work against gravity and travel the farthest distance to carry blood to your heart. Spider veins can also occur on the face and various other areas of the body.

Why Does Pregnancy Cause Spider Veins?

Typically, the valves in veins push blood in one direction – towards the heart. Sometimes the valves weaken, and blood can leak back into the bottom of the veins. Over time, the blood builds up and causes the vein to grow larger. That’s when spider veins or varicose veins start to appear.

During pregnancy, the increased volume of blood you’re carrying creates significant pressure on your blood vessels, causing even small veins to swell. Your expanding uterus also adds an extra dose of pressure on your veins. Genetics can also predispose you to spider veins.

Will They Go Away?

Spider veins are usually just a temporary side effect of pregnancy. They tend to shrink after you give birth, when your blood volume returns to normal. This may take three or four months, or they may not go away completely. You’re also more likely to develop more spider veins during future pregnancies.

Can You Prevent Spider Veins During Pregnancy?

While it’s impossible to prevent spider veins entirely during pregnancy, there are ways to minimise their spread, including:

  • Eating foods high in fibre and vitamin C
  • Maintain an active lifestyle
  • Avoid wearing high heels
  • Keep your legs up higher than your hips when you are resting or sitting
  • Avoid sitting for too long
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t wear anything too tight around your waist or pelvis

If your spider veins are bothering you during or after pregnancy, there are some effective cosmetic procedures that can eliminate them.

Book a Consultation at Vein Care for More Help

Safe, non-invasive, non-surgical treatments are available for spider veins and varicose veins including ultrasound guided sclerotherapy and endovenous laser treatment. To find out more or to make an appointment for a consultation, please call Vein Care’s helpful patient service staff on 1300 730 100 or contact us online.