During pregnancy, a woman’s body goes through significant changes. Whilst some of these changes can exude radiance and health, other changes can be a little more uncomfortable and problematic. One such change that affects some women during pregnancy is the onset of varicose veins.

The severity of varicose veins in pregnant women varies and ranges from mild discomfort to the legs feeling extremely tired, restless and heavy. The veins in the legs can become swollen and purple in colour and can sometimes itch and throb.

What causes varicose veins during pregnancy

Varicose veins during pregnancy are caused by the pressure the growing uterus puts on the large vein at the right hand side of the body. The pressure being put on this vein can radiate through to the veins in the legs, which can result in the swelling and discomfort of leg veins.

The amount of blood in a woman’s body is increased during pregnancy. This increase in blood can also put pressure on the veins. As the Baby Centre notes, progesterone levels also increase during pregnancy, which can cause the blood vessel walls to relax, again adding to the burden on the veins.

Being overweight and the additional weight a woman gains when she is pregnant can also put pressure on the veins in the legs and in some women cause varicose veins.

Treatment for varicose veins whilst pregnant

If you are suffering from varicose veins during your pregnancy you may look for a way to treat the discomfort caused by these enlarged leg veins.


Running a marathon might not be recommended during pregnancy, but some regular gentle exercise, such as a brisk walk, can help with a woman’s circulation and minimise and even prevent the onset of varicose veins.

Raise your legs to an elevated position

When you go to bed and when you are sitting down try to raise your legs to an elevated position by using a pillow or stool to help with the blood circulation in your legs.

Sleep on your left side

It is also a good idea for pregnant ladies suffering from varicose veins or attempting to prevent varicose veins to sleep on their left side. This is due to the fact that the main vein that causes varicose veins, known as the inferior vena cava, is situated on the right side of the body and sleeping on the left will help to relieve the weight of the uterus from putting pressure on the inferior vena cava.

Wear compression stockings

Some women find relief by wearing graduated compression stockings when they are pregnant. These support stockings work by making it easier for the blood to flow up a woman’s leg and towards her heart, consequently helping to prevent the swelling.

The good news is that varicose veins during pregnancy tend to disappear naturally after a woman has given birth.

If you require any advice or treatment for varicose vein during your pregnancy, get in touch with the Vascular Consultancy, specialists in providing advice, diagnosis and treatment for varicose veins and other vascular conditions.


Sweating is necessary to control the temperature of the body, particularly when the weather is hot and during exercise. Hyperhidrosis is the term used to define excessive sweating, whereby the nervous system works at a revved up level and causes an individual to suffer from extreme sweating.

Hyperhidrosis affects approximately one percent of the population, affects women and men equally, and all ethnicities.

Whilst in many cases, the causes of hyperhidrosis remain unknown and is believed to be caused by an issue related to the nervous system, the condition does have an identifiable cause known as secondary hyperhidrosis.

The NHS highlights some of the triggers that can result in secondary hyperhidrosis, which include pregnancy, the menopause, anxiety, certain medications, low blood sugar levels, an overactive thyroid gland, and certain infections.

Hyperhidrosis and depression and anxiety

A recent study has revealed there is a significant association between hyperhidrosis and the prevalence of depression and anxiety.

The study was compiled by researchers at dermatology clinics in Canada and China and was aimed at analysing the connection between hyperhidrosis and anxiety and depression.

The research analysed the responses of questionnaires completed by outpatients at the dermatology clinics. According to the study, patients suffering from the condition hyperhidrosis had a “significantly higher prevalence of anxiety and depression compared with those without hyperhidrosis.”

“Hyperhidrosis severity and prevalence of anxiety and depression showed positive correlations,” concluded the study.

Factors affecting the correlation between the excessive sweating condition highlighted by the report include age, ethnicity, gender, BMI and the diagnosis of skin conditions.

Bruce Thiel, a researcher involved in the study wrote:

“The results of our study showed that both anxiety and depression were much more common in patients with [hyperhidrosis] compared with those without [hyperhidrosis]… and that this positive association was common to all [hyperhidrosis] subtypes, especially generalised or facial [hyperhidrosis].”

“Assessment and management of anxiety and depression should be an essential component in management of patients with hyperhidrosis.,” continued Thiel.

How is hyperhidrosis treated?

This condition can be a challenge to treat and can take time and patience to find the right kind of treatment for the patient. It is generally recommended to begin with less invasive types of treatment, including making lifestyle changes, such as avoiding drinking alcohol and eating spicy food, to using powerful antiperspirants and wearing loose clothing.

In more severe cases, more invasive treatment might be recommended, such as botulinum toxin injections, iontophoresis, in which the affected areas are exposed to a weak electric current given through a wet pad or water and even surgery.

If you have any concerns related to hyperhidrosis or any kind of vascular condition, The Vascular Consultancy offers advice, diagnosis and treatments for a wide range of vascular-related conditions.


Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.


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