What Causes Flat FeetPregnancy is an exciting experience, and you likely can't wait for your new baby to arrive. That said, pregnancy is also hard on the body, including your veins. The added weight and pressure of pregnancy can cause varicose veins, spider veins, and other vein issues.

While some of these problems are less serious than others, one of the most severe conditions that can develop during pregnancy is deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Deep venous thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein, and it can be extremely painful for pregnant women, not to mention dangerous.

At Sinai Laser Vein Center, we specialize in DVT pregnancy treatment. We use minimally-invasive techniques to quickly and effectively remove the clot and relieve your pain. If you're pregnant and experiencing vein issues, early treatment is vital to your health and your baby's, so be sure to make an appointment with a healthcare provider as soon as possible.

Here are some of the most common vein problems that can occur during pregnancy:

Varicose Veins

These are large, swollen veins that often appear on the legs and can be painful. They're caused by the added pressure on the veins in the lower body and are more common in pregnant women who have a strong family history of varicose veins.

Spider Veins

These are small, red, purple, or blue veins that often appear on the legs and can be unsightly. They're usually not painful, but they can cause itchiness and burning. Spider veins are caused by the same thing as varicose veins - the added pressure on the veins in the lower body.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

  • What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

    Deep venous thrombosis is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein. This causes less blood flow to the area and can be extremely painful. DVT is most common in the blood vessels of the leg, but it can occur in other parts of the body as well.

  • Symptoms of DVT

    If you're pregnant and think you might have DVT, it's important to see a doctor right away.

    Symptoms of DVT include:

    • Severe swelling in the affected leg
    • Pain or tenderness in the leg
    • Warmth in the leg
    • In the affected area, red skin or discolored skin
    • Severe varicose veins in the affected area

    If you have DVT, there's a risk that the clot could break free and travel to your lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism, and it can be life-threatening. Objectively diagnosed venous thromboembolism can be extremely painful and dangerous for pregnant women, as it can cause the clot to break loose and travel to the lungs, where it can be fatal.

    Symptoms of acute pulmonary embolism include:

    • Difficulty breathing
    • Chest pain or discomfort
    • Coughing up blood
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Sweating
    • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • How Does DVT Affect Pregnant Patients?

    Untreated DVT can be life-threatening and is a frequent cause of maternal mortality, so it's important to be aware of the symptoms and seek treatment right away if you think you might have it.

    Pregnant women are more likely to develop DVT because of the changes in their bodies during pregnancy. These changes include an increase in the levels of certain hormones, which can make blood clots more likely to form. Additionally, pregnancy can cause changes in the veins themselves, which can make them more likely to become blocked.

    DVT also puts you at a higher risk for pregnancy complications like premature labor, low birth weight, and even recurrent miscarriage.

  • Risk Factors for DVT

    Certain factors during your pregnancy can put you at an increased risk for deep vein thrombosis. Some of these risk factors include:

    • Strong family history: If your family has a history of an inherited blood clotting disorder, you're more likely to develop DVT.
    • Being pregnant with multiple babies: If you're pregnant with multiples, this may be a risk factor because it increases the amount of blood in your body and puts extra pressure on your veins.
    • Age: Women over 35 are more likely to develop DVT.
    • Obesity: Carrying excess weight in relation to your body mass index during pregnancy can put a strain on your veins.
    • Smoking: Cigarette smoke can damage the lining of your blood vessels, making them more likely to become blocked.
    • Sedentary lifestyle: While bed rest is essential when prescribed, if you don't move around much during your pregnancy, this can increase your risk for DVT.
    • Previous history of DVT: If you've had DVT in the past, you're more likely to develop it again.
  • Treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis

    The most important goal of DVT treatment -- especially early treatment -- is to prevent clots. If you're diagnosed with DVT, your doctor will likely prescribe anticoagulant medication. This type of medication helps to prevent blood clots from forming. You'll also be advised to wear compression stockings, which help to reduce swelling in the legs.

    If you have a more severe case of DVT, you may need to be hospitalized and treated with intravenous anticoagulant medication. In some cases, a filter may be placed in your veins to help prevent clots from traveling to your lungs.

    If you were planning on having a vaginal delivery, you may need to opt for a cesarean delivery (C-section) if you have DVT. This is because contractions during labor can increase the risk of clots traveling to your lungs.

Visit Brooklyn's Top Vein Specialist

The most important thing to remember about your veins while you're pregnant is that if you see or feel something out of the ordinary, it's never too early to touch base with your doctor. Early treatment is key to preventing serious health complications.

At Sinai Laser Vein Center, we specialize in the treatment of DVT. Our minimally-invasive techniques are designed to quickly and effectively remove the clot and relieve your pain. We also offer a variety of treatments to prevent DVT from recurring.

If you're pregnant and concerned about your risk for DVT, we can help. To learn more about our vein treatments or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.