Varicose veins are very common in pregnant women, and here's why and how you can combat them. 

If you're reading this, then you or someone you probably know is pregnant. That means you've probably researched many of the challenges that come with childbearing. Well, we're here to add one more – varicose veins, which if you're not familiar, are the twisted, enlarged blue-and-purplish veins typically found on the legs. They're very common in pregnant women, and like any medical condition, they can result in complications so they're worth keeping an eye on.

But what is it about pregnancy that causes them, and what should you do about it? 

According to kidshealth.org, varicose veins are the result of the uterus applying pressure to the surrounding veins and are likely to be hereditary, so if your mother or your grandmother experienced them during pregnancy, then chances are that you'll also develop them. Hormonal changes, like increased levels of progestin – a hormone known to dilate the veins – have also been known to contribute to the condition. If that's the case, there may not be much you can do, but there are steps you can take to relieve some of the itchiness and pain. 

Steps, like getting up and moving every so often, avoiding crossing your legs, elevating your feet when you're resting, sleeping on your side, and wearing special compression hose, can all help relieve symptoms. We also recommend mentioning it to your doctor the next time you're in and, if the symptoms are severe enough, they might recommend you to a vein specialist. 

Of course, at any point, if the pain becomes too much, you notice that the veins are becoming increasingly hard, or there's redness of the affected areas then you should call your doctor right away. 

What are your thoughts? Have any tips you'd like to add? If so, let us know in the comments section!