Varicose Vein are super common in pregnancy due to the increase in blood volume in the body as well changes in hormones (thanks progesterone/estrogen ). Varicose veins during pregnancy can occur on the legs, feet or even on the vulva! The most common symptoms of vulvar varicosities are:* pressure or fullness in the genitals* swelling in or around the genitals* pain that gets worse after standing, sexual activity, or physical activity Hemorrhoids are also a type of varicose vein, and are very common during pregnancy (again from all the extra weight being carried around)
Things that can help with reducing the discomfort felt with vulvar varicosities:
* Apply ice packs (usually at the end of the day)* Use a bidet to wash / clean instead of #toiletpaper
* Wear compression socks: this helps in general with venous return
* Lay on your left side: this reduces pressure on your vena cava (a vein) which helps to improve blood flow to the pelvis
* Don’t sit or stand for prolonged periods of time! Switch up your positions!
* Try the aloe/which hazel padsicles for relief! (See the reel on my page on how to make them!)
* Do some gentle kegels (or pelvic floor contractions) this helps with the sump/pump function of the pelvic floor and can help with swelling in the pelvic area.
* Drink plenty of water As always check with your obstetrics provider to make sure there is nothing else going
If you could add this to the bottom of the blog:
Dr. Nidhi Patel PT, DPT is a physical therapist specializing in pelvic floor dysfunction. Her website is www.classicityrehab.com and her Instagram is @thepelvictherapist. Feel free to contact her with any questions regarding pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, post partum and prenatal PT care and any other questions!