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Spider Veins and Pregnancy: Why They Appear & When To Seek Help

Spider Veins and Pregnancy: Why They Appear & When To Seek Help

At some point during your pregnancy, you might look at your legs in the mirror and notice something that wasn’t there before…spider veins

These are thin red blood vessels that can be seen just under the surface of the skin. They might have jagged, branching lines resembling spider webs (hence the name), of a jumble of threads, which gives them their other name, ‘thread veins’. 

Spider veins are common on the legs and face, especially during pregnancy. So why do you form spider veins, and how do you get rid of them?

Why They Appear

During pregnancy, the volume of blood within the body increases to support the growing baby. This, in combination with the significant change in hormones, can result in blood backing up in your veins. The extra stress on your veins can result in spider veins making an unwelcome appearance. In fact, the further along you are in your pregnancy, the higher the likelihood is that you will develop either spider or varicose veins.

Spider veins are usually no cause for concern. Although many dislike their appearance, they don’t usually cause any pain or discomfort. And, most importantly, they pose no danger to your baby. But even if they’re not dangerous, many people prefer to treat their spider veins rather than just let them be. Fortunately, there are minimally invasive and effective treatment options available. 

Treatment

Any vein treatment (including spider veins and varicose veins) begins with a consultation with a specialist. This consultation will allow both you and your specialist to understand the extent of your spider veins and the best treatment. While the actual treatment is unlikely to begin until after the birth, the consultation can be booked at any time.

The best treatment for spider veins is Thermocoagulation, more commonly known as Veinwave or ThermaVein. The idea behind Veinwave is to get the body to naturally reabsorb the damaged spider veins back into the body, rather than surgically remove them.


This process happens by applying a very specifically directed amount of heat to the damaged vein. This blocks off the vein, which then prompts the body to absorb it naturally. The best thing about this treatment is that it’s non-invasive, meaning that it’s largely painless and doesn’t unnecessarily damage any non-affected tissue.

What factors increase the likelihood of spider veins?

Pregnancy is a significant factor in causing some people to form spider veins. But there are other factors that may increase the likelihood of spider veins forming. These include: 

  • Genetics- If other members of your family have (or have had) spider  or varicose veins, then you are more likely to get them too.
  • Sex - Even ouside of pregnancy, men and women have significant differences in their hormonal balances. Women are generally more likely to be affected by spider veins than men.
  • BMI - Larger people tend to have more stress on their veins, and are therefore more likely to be affected by spider veins. If you are overweight  or obese, you have a higher predisposition for varicose veins both during and outside of pregnancy.
  • Lifestyle - If you work at a job that requires you to either sit or stand in the same position for long periods of time, this will increase your chances of having issues with spider or varicose veins.

How can I reduce my chances of forming spider veins?

There are a number of ways to minimise the likelihood of forming spider veins. The main way is to encourage healthy blood flow by moving and regularly doing gentle exercises throughout your pregnancy. Try to avoid standing or sitting in the same position for long periods of time, and keep your legs raised when lying or sitting down. If you can, try to keep your legs elevated while you are asleep as well. 

When should I seek help?

While your spider veins are not dangerous or harmful, it’s perfectly understandable if you want to look into treatment as soon as possible. As mentioned above, the treatment itself is unlikely to happen during your pregnancy.

However, you can have an initial consultation at any time to get a clearer picture of what your options are after you give birth. So if your spider veins are bothering you there’s no need to worry - feel free to book a consultation to speak with a specialist as soon as you like.


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Where to find us

We're pleased to be able to provide our world-class varicose vein treatment in a variety of places throughout the United Kingdom. Learn more about your treatment options, including endovenous radio-frequency ablation (EVRF) and foam sclerotherapy, at the clinic closest to you

Greater London Area

150 Harley Street
London W1G 7LQ

Thames Valley Area

The Bridge Clinic, The Gatehouse
156-160 Bridge Road
Maidenhead SL6 8DG

North West Area

Pall Mall Medical Centre
61 King Street
Manchester M2 4PD