It's very common to get varicose veins in pregnancy. For this reason the NHS are often reluctant to treat patients of child bearing age because it's likely they would need new varicose veins treating after pregnancy.
Why do varicose veins occur in pregnancy?
As your baby grows within your uterus (womb) along with the placenta, the weight on the veins around your pelvis increases.
Because of this pressure the inferior vena cava - a large vein which runs down the right-hand side of your body - has to work extra hard to pump blood from your feet & legs up to the organs and on to your heart.
Alongside this increase in pressure and workload the hormone progesterone, which you have a lot of when pregnant, relaxes the walls of your blood vessels.
There's also more blood circulating in your body when you're pregnant!
All of these factors increase the liklihood of varicose veins appearing.
Can varicose veins appear anywhere else?
On legs and feet is the most common but you could get them elsewhere. It's not unheard of to get varicose veins appearing in and around the vagina during pregnancy. According to BabyCentre about 4% of women suffer from this.
Piles which can appear on your anus are actually varicose veins too!
I've got varicose veins! Do they go away once my baby is born?
Yes, often varicose veins caused by pregnancy will go away on their own. If not then check out our guide to varicose vein treatments for more information.