Treatment for Vulvar Varicosities During Pregnancy
Treating vulvar varicose veins using compression therapy during pregnancy can relieve pain and reduce symptoms.
You are not alone if you have vulvar varicosities. Fifty-five percent of women will suffer varicose veins in their lifetime, according to a study done by the American College of Phlebology.
This may not be a hot topic of conversation, but many women experience swelling of veins in the vagina or vulva during pregnancy. This condition often occurs during pregnancy due to increased blood flow and pressure on the pelvic floor resulting in varicose veins of the vulva or vagina.
The symptoms of vulvar varicosities are:
- pain in the vulva area
- feelings of fullness or pressure
- swelling and discomfort
- visually swollen veins
In more extreme cases the full, dilated blood vessels can resemble dark purple, swollen veins (often really looking like large earthworms, oh my!). There are several steps you can take to reduce swelling, prevent this condition from worsening, and potentially heal the varicosities.
Take action to care for yourself so that your pregnancy will be comfortable and healthy.
1. WEAR A COMPRESSION SUPPORT GARMENT
Wearing BabyBellyBand’s Vulvar Varicosity Support Kit including a Babybellyband® abdominal band with compression therapy groin bands and a hot/cold pack is essential for supporting vulvar varicosities. According to our studies, 47% of our customers buy Babybellyband products for vulvar varicosities.
- 94% of those customers reported some amount of relief.
- 15% reported no further symptoms and complete relief.
- 67% were able to return to normal activity–very valuable, especially to those with little ones!
Direct compression on the vulvar varicosities and/or vaginal varicosities help to prevent swelling, adds support to the swollen veins and helps move the blood along in the pelvic floor area to prevent pooling and further varicosities. Our support-wear products also provide shoulder straps with the system which is even more beneficial as they provide a lift to the abdomen further reducing pressure on the pelvic floor.
2. AVOID STANDING FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME
Avoid standing for long hours and try to take breaks to relieve the pressure on your pelvis with short intervals of sitting or lying down. If you have a job which requires standing, it is even more important to wear compression support during these hours to counteract the pressure from the added weight of the baby and gravity pulling downward on your varicosities. Ask your employer to provide intervals of time where you can change your standing position to sitting. Ideally lie down for 10 minutes here and there throughout the day. This is obviously not realistic for some jobs, however, you are pregnant and do have rights at your job relating to the safety of both you and your baby. Get a note from your obstetrician stating your needs and present this to your employer.
3. ELEVATE YOUR HIPS
When you lie down, elevate your hips by putting a pillow underneath your bottom. This helps improve the blood flow in the pelvic floor area and reduce swelling in the veins.
4. COOL COMPRESS
When you have a chance to lie down, place cool compresses on the vulvar varicosities to ease pain and reduce the swelling. To protect this soft tissue area, make sure the packs are refrigerator cool, not frozen, so that the temperature feels comfortable and relieving.
5. AVOID LIFTING HEAVY OBJECTS
If you have a toddler this is difficult, but try to avoid lifting heavy objects. Squat down to talk with your toddler, or sit down and ask him/her to sit on your lap to talk instead of lifting him/her. Ask for help lifting groceries or other heavy objects. ASK FOR HELP! I need to say this again because women are generally the ‘helpers’ and tend not to ask for help. As a pregnant woman you need to take care of yourself. Who knows, you may make another person’s day by reaching out and asking for their help.
You can get even more information on vulvar varicose veins treatment during pregnancy or postpartum or confirm the information in this short article by reading:
Vulvar varicose veins treatment during pregnancy, compression therapy works!
Updated 2020, Article written 2015 by Caroline Christensen, M.Ed, Science Education, BS Kinesiology,