Pregnancy and varicose veins
Women, pregnancy and varicose veins: the typical combination that in most cases brings in future mothers to learn more about graduated compression stockings.
But why do gynecologists, obstetricians and doctors recommended their use?
In the early stages of pregnancy, the veins of the lower limbs dilate mainly for hormonal factors, genetic predisposition, age and physical activity (for example if you spend a lot of time standing).
25% of women at their first pregnancy – and 50% of those at their second pregnancy – begins to suffer in this period of swelling in the legs and of varicose veins. During the progress of pregnancy, then, mechanical reasons (the volume of the uterus increases and consequently the compression exerted on the veins of the lower limbs) make other problems arise, such as:
- Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), that causes the the loss of elasticity of the veins and the wear of their valves that favors the formation of varicose veins
- Phlebitis, that causes vein inflammation characterized by pain and redness
- Deep vein thrombosis, or deep venous thrombosis, (DVT) , i.e. the formation, within the veins, of thrombus, clots (due to the lack of movement and to increased blood viscosity) that prevent the normal circulation.
In order to prevent the occurrence of these problems, as long as you do not have particular gravity indicators symptoms, you can resort to natural methods, such as:
- make a minimum of physical exercise (simply walking every day),
- avoid excessive exposure to sun and heat,
- keep your legs raised during rest periods,
- start wearing elastic compression stockings.
Like every other aspect of pregnancy, the prescriptionof of the most suitable type of elastic compression garment to wear has to be provided by the medical staff that follos the entire phase of the woman.
Generally speaking, as it has been showed by the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, a study conducted by the Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Tübingen in Germany (view the abstract of the original article), the use of graduated compression stockings (25-32 mmHg) on a sample of pregnant women has proven useful to help venous blood flow both during gestation and after birth, and more subjective symptoms related to leg problems (such as muscle fatigue, swelling and heaviness in the legs) were reduced.
This study confirmed that compression is a relief for clinical symptoms of venous congestion and improves the venous blood flow in the legs. This way, the regular use of these garments during pregnancy and the postnatal period may reduce the incidence of thromboembolic events.
Swollen legs and varicose veins disappear, in most cases, after the deliver. Nevertheless, to alleviate – or prevent – the problems from their beginning, it is enough to start wearing socks characterized by a light compression.
Traditionally, the suggestion is to wear them from the third month and go up to 2 months after the delivery.
Sanyleg offers different product lines that are suitable for this condition.
The Preventive Sheer line includes knee socks, stockings and tights in honeycomb weave cloth (“fishnet”) suitable for those who want to start the prevention process in a simple way, starting to replace every day socks with these elegant garments who have the advantage of being relaxing.
The Anti-embolism line includes socks and knee-highs compression socks (commonly called “antithrombotic stockings”) with inspection hole, indicated for women who have undergone surgery – such as a caesarean section. Their main function is to be a valuable, natural and non-invasive, tool to decrease the incidence of the formation of thrombus. This thanks to the fact that, through their compressive action, they prevent the increase of blood viscosity and consequently the formation of clots. These post-operative stockings are often seen in hospital environments in cases of immobilized patients and are used for a limited period in time – even if, in order to obtain an effective action, they must be constantly worn throughout the period of hospitalization (nights included). Their use as a replacement to normal socks is not recommended.
For those who wish to know more about the effectiveness of graduated compression stockings in a hospital setting, a study has been recently published (Sachdeva A, Dalton M, Amaragiri SV, Lees T. – “Graduated compression stockings for prevention of deep vein thrombosis.” – see the original article in English ) according to which the lack of mobility caused by hospitalization can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), especially in the area of the legs. It may spread to the lungs causing pulmonary embolism: this danger can be reduced by using elastic stockings that exert different compressions on different points of the leg.
And what about “Runner Moms”?
For new mothers who wish to get back in shape after giving birth it is always available the new Sports line by Sanyleg, that includes several graduated compression garments intended for all those who want to start practicing sports activities, such as running, spinning and similar activities. In this case the elastic action does not have a preventive or therapeutic function, but it simply helps the legs to eliminate the sense of fatigue which is naturally developed during and after the training session.
To know how varicose veins develop, there is a short video. If you need more details or if you wish to send suggestions for particular supplies that might be useful during pregnancy, feel free to contact us.