This a subject that generally isn’t openly discussed – no surprise there really.
But the good news is – Yes, you can reduce symptoms and relieve the pain of vaginal varicose veins.
You’re also not alone if you have them. While vaginal varicose veins, also known as vulvar varicosities, are not widely discussed, many pregnant women experience vein swelling in the vulva or vagina.
We have a whole post concerning Pregnancy and Varicose Veins.
This condition usually happens in pregnancy due to increased pressure on your pelvic floor combined with increased blood flow. The result is the vagina or vulva developing varicose veins.
Common symptoms of vaginal varicose veins include:
– Pain in your vulva
– Feelings of pressure or fullness
– Discomfort and swelling
In extreme cases, the dilated (full) blood vessels start to resemble swollen and dark purple veins, even reaching the point where they look like large earthworms.
How can you prevent this condition from getting worse, reduce the swelling, or maybe even heal it? Treatment generally follows five main points.
Compression support garments
Wearing an abdominal band that has groin bands for compression therapy is key to support and treat vaginal varicose veins. Direct compression force on your vulvar or vaginal varicosities helps prevent swelling, puts support on your swollen veins, and helps keep the blood moving in the area of the pelvic floor in order to prevent varicosities and pooling.
Some support products also have shoulder straps in the system, which is even better — they give your abdomen a lift, further lowering pressure on your pelvic floor.
Avoid long periods of standing
The second step is to avoid standing around for long periods of time. Try to take regular breaks that relieve pressure in your pelvis, this can be as simple as a short period of lying down or sitting.
If your job requires you to stand up, wearing compression supports during working hours is even more important. This will help counteract pressure from the baby’s added weight, combined with gravity, putting downward force on your varicose veins.
Ideally, ask your employer to give you periods of time where you can change from standing to sitting. If possible, lie down here and there for 10 minute periods during the day.
Of course not all jobs will allow this, but since you are pregnant, the rights to safety which apply to you at your job also apply to your baby. Have your obstetrician provide a note which states your needs and give this note to your employer.
Elevate your hips
While lying down, put a pillow under your bottom to elevate your hips. This will help improve the flow of blood in your pelvic floor area, reducing swelling to the veins.
Use cool compresses
Also when you have a chance to have a lie down, put some cool compresses on your varicose veins in order to reduce swelling and ease your pain. Be sure the packs are cooled to refrigerator cool rather than being frozen so that they feel relieving and comfortable.
Avoid heavy exertion or lifting heavy objects
While this can be difficult if you have a toddler, you should try to keep away from lifting heavy objects. When talking with your toddler squat down instead of lifting them, or sit down and then ask them to sit down on your lap in order to talk.
Ask someone else for help to lift groceries or similar heavy objects.
In general, ask others for help!
Often women are used to being helpers rather than asking for help, but as a pregnant woman you must take care of yourself. Plus, you might make someone’s day when you reach out to them and ask them for help.