Pelvic and Pudendal Veins: Pregnancy and After
In some women, enlarged and swollen varicose veins can complicate the later stages of pregnancy. Large tender veins and broken veins can appear in the legs, groin and around and in the lips of the vulva. They may also appear across the chest and breasts.
Most of these veins will disappear within a few weeks of giving birth, but some may persist to give problems later, either during subsequent pregnancies or in later life. These veins often arise as a consequence of leaking valves in the groins, but occasionally the problem is more deep seated. Colour duplex scanning may have to be supplemented with pelvic venography (a dye based x-ray of the veins in the pelvis and around the ovaries) to pinpoint the precise source of these veins.
Troublesome veins during pregnancy should be assessed, and many methods exist to relieve pain and discomfort until the child is born.
Residual veins, especially around the groin and vulval lips can be treated at any time after child birth, even many years later if need be. These veins can become swollen and uncomfortable prior to the monthly cycle or during subsequent pregnancies when they may be associated with bouts of phlebitis (painful clotting of the veins). In some women, they become increasingly unsightly over time.
Treatment is relatively straight forward, and aims to abolish any aching or pains and restore the vulva to its normal appearance.
Other visible superficial veins on chest, abdomen or buttocks can be dealt with in a similar fashion.
See also hernias.