Vulvar Varicosities During Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

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Vaginal varicosities, commonly known as vaginal varicose veins, is a kind of varicose veins occurring in the lower abdominal and pelvic region of the body. The condition most commonly affects those of the female sex. Sections of the veins in this region of the body are enlarged and dilated beyond normal and acquire a twisted look, seemingly overflowing with blood. Since it occurs in the outer area, it is also known as vulvar varicosities. While it may be painless, the condition might eventually worsen and cause discomfort and pain, which is why it is advisable to seek treatment from the get-go. The condition may also be referred to as the pelvic venous flow disorder or pelvic congestion syndrome.

Vaginal varicosities during pregnancy are particularly common and often not discussed in as much detail as it should be. Various online portals tend to overlook the topic, but it remains a fact that a lot of women need to know about. Vaginal varicose veins during pregnancy become vital to note, especially owing to increased blood flow to the lower abdominal area and changing the hormonal balance of the body. In most cases, the symptoms of vaginal varicose veins disappear after childbirth, but it is best to know as much as possible about vaginal varicose veins treatment on the off chance that the knowledge comes to use.

In this article:

Causes of Vaginal Varicosities
Symptoms of Vulvar Varicosities
Risks Involved
Diagnosis of Vulvar Varicosities
Treatment for Vulvar Varicosities

A Guide for Vulvar Varicosities During Pregnancy

Causes of Vaginal Varicosities

Normally, the risk of vaginal varicosities acquires serious proportions only during the pregnancy period. But the causes behind the condition may manifest whenever there is increased internal pressure in the veins of the area. Some of the reasons behind why your veins may be swelling up are listed here:

  • Increased blood flow in the area, like when a woman is pregnant.
  • Blood might pool in the veins when blood flow is obstructed owing to the growing size of the baby as the pregnancy progresses.

vulvar varicosities

Pelvic congestion syndrome may also occur if the valves within the blood vessels do not help blood flow to the heart from the various organs of the body.

Symptoms of Vulvar Varicosities

Some of the symptoms of the condition may be cited as follows:

  • Bulging blue veins in the outer lips of the vulva that looks dangerous and is often the cause of pain and discomfort.
  • The bulging veins might also be visible across the inner thighs and the lower back.
  • A dull ache around the genital area and the lower backside which might increase in the course of the day after a prolonged period of standing or sitting down.
  • Pain in the area during menstruation or intercourse is also common in case of vaginal varicosities.
  • The frequency of urination may increase if you have the condition.
  • Vaginal varicosities during pregnancy may also have psychological consequences by causing prenatal depression and anxiety in women expecting to give birth.

Risks Involved

It would be best to remember that the symptoms of vulvar varicosities automatically resolve after childbirth and is unlikely to cause any severe issues during the process. The swollen veins have a naturally low flow of blood which implies that if bleeding occurs, it can be easily controlled. However, it is best not to rely on statistics and consult your doctor if you observe bulging veins in the lower pelvic region and around the vulva.

Diagnosis of Vulvar Varicosities During Pregnancy

The diagnosis of the condition is fairly simple. A typical physical examination by your doctor will help them confirm that you are suffering from vaginal varicose veins. A basic questionnaire regarding your symptoms will also help diagnose how bad it is and how worried you should be about the condition.

In rarer and sometimes more severe cases, an imaging test like an ultrasound may be necessary to catch vaginal varicose veins during pregnancy. This also helps identify if there is any backflow of blood owing to the swelling in the veins. In particularly severe cases that may be linked to pelvic congestion, your doctor might recommend you to get a CT scan of your heart, a magnetic resonance angiography or selective venography to accurately diagnose what is wrong with the veins in the area.

Treatment for Vulvar Varicosities During Pregnancy

There is no specific way in which vaginal varicose veins treatment may be executed on an affected woman. If you experience itching, you might be asked to bathe the area with mild soap and apply a topical corticosteroid ointment for relief. If in your specific case there is a blood clot and the risks are too high, your doctor may prescribe heparin of low molecular weight as medication to avoid further clotting. Women with vaginal varicose veins during pregnancy may be asked to do a five-day course of this medicine in the last trimester of their pregnancy to get rid of blood clots in the vessels before the stipulated delivery date.

If the clotting is particularly bad, the vaginal varicose veins treatment calls for more aggressive forms of treatment. Some of these are mentioned here but they are best administered when a woman is not yet pregnant:

Sclerotherapy

This is a medical procedure in which a solution is injected into the bulging swollen veins in the vaginal and vulvar area and dissolve what is necessary. This works in a way that the condition fades over time.

Echo Sclerosis 

This is a more expansive version of the previous method, with pictorial assistance from accompanying ultrasound imaging.

Transcatheter Embolization 

For this treatment, fluoroscopic imaging is used in order to insert a catheter into the affected veins and insert a coil of sclerotherapic solution to treat the veins.

Phlebectomy

The affected veins are completely removed to avoid further complications and clotting. Small incisions need to be made on the surface to carry out the procedure.

Conclusion

While the condition does not usually pose a serious threat, it is best to get yourself checked out before anything unprecedented happens. If you are planning to have a child soon, it is best to get your body in perfect shape and get rid of such unnecessary complications before you begin the joyful journey of becoming a mother.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5500487/

Treating Varicose Veins Naturally During Pregnancy

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