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Women are more likely to seek treatment for visible varicose veins. But you’ll be surprised to learn that statistically, the likelihood of developing varicose veins is split almost evenly among men and women.
Stanford Hospital and Clinics research show that half of all adults will suffer from venous disease. Approximately 55 percent of this total will be women, while 45 percent will be men.
It is estimated that 25 percent of women will develop visible varicose veins in that group. In comparison, the chances drop to 10 to 15 percent for men.
As vein experts in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, we’ve helped people of all ages and genders get relief from their venous disease issues.
As many of our patients are women, today, we’re going to share some biological and genetic reasons why varicose veins in women are so bothersome.
How do varicose veins develop?
All organs, tissues, and cells in your body receive nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood through your arteries. Afterward, your veins return this blood to your heart to start the process again.
Your veins are outfitted with one-way flaps called valves so that they can push blood back up to the heart. They open to prevent blood from pooling and falling back so it can reach your heart.
Symptoms of injury or disease can cause your valves to malfunction, causing blood in your veins to pool instead of flowing to your heart. The result can be raised, lumpy, thickened veins known as varicose veins.
Veins in your legs are most often affected by varicose veins since they have to fight gravity the hardest. Varicose veins, however, can occur anywhere in the body.
Varicose veins in women
As previously mentioned, varicose veins can be more bothersome and uncomfortable in women. There are two primary reasons for that: pregnancy and hormones.
During pregnancy, a woman’s hormone levels and the growing baby’s weight make her more prone to varicose veins. This is due to the following:
- Blood vessel walls relax, and valve function decreases with increased progesterone levels.
- Baby pressure can alter blood flow in a woman’s pelvis and legs due to pressure on blood vessels.
- There’s a lot more blood circulating in the body.
- As a result, blood cannot move from a woman’s legs to her heart against gravity as quickly as it would otherwise.
Other factors such as diet, genetics, or weight could be attributed to an increased likelihood of varicose veins during pregnancy.
However, if you are pregnant, there are several things you can do to improve blood circulation and prevent the formation of varicose veins. Try:
- Stay away from sitting or standing for a long time — try to keep active.
- Avoid sitting with your legs crossed.
- When sleeping, turn on your left side.
- Try wearing compression socks or maternity pantyhose.
Place your feet against the wall while lying down — putting them up prevents these blocks.
Female hormones like estrogen and progesterone are crucial for menstruation and conception. Women are also more likely than men to develop varicose veins, partially attributed to these hormones. These hormones lead to the relaxation of the vein-controlling muscles. The blood may start to pool as a result of this relaxation.
You may be at risk of getting varicose veins in addition to pregnancy and hormones if they run in your family, if you spend too much time on your feet, or if you’re overweight or obese.
Treatment for varicose veins
While there are many ways to prevent varicose and spider veins — as previously mentioned in this article and throughout our website, once you develop venous diseases, there are zero chances of it going away without treatment.
Treating varicose veins
Treatment is the best option for resolving your varicose and spider vein-related issues.
In our Milwaukee, Wisconsin vein clinic, we will assess your specific needs and determine the best treatment for your veins. Our treatment is safe, quick, and non-invasive; most patients can return to their day-to-day activities on the same day!
Are you interested in resolving varicose and spider vein problems once and for all? Visit our contact page to get in touch today.