Varicose veins are not alien features in the human body; in fact, they are more common than we know especially among pregnant women. Varicose veins are veins that are large and swollen and are located around the feet and leg region. They occur as a result of poor functionality of the veins which in turn reduces the effectiveness of blood flow.
The varicose veins are usually a harmless feature experienced during pregnancy. The veins that are affected are the large inferior vena cava that carries blood back to the heart. The varicose veins can be uncomfortable, itchy, painful and unpleasant to the eye. In very severe cases a rupture of the vein may occur or varicose ulcers may develop on the skin. Hemorrhoids are also a type of varicose veins.
To understand the reason why varicose veins occur we must know that a normal healthy leg vein has just a valve that only allows passage of blood back to the heart. When these one-way valves cease to function at par, varicose veins occur. This then causes the blood not returned to the heart to accumulate in the veins and leads to the stretching of the walls of the veins. It also causes the veins to twist and bulge to the extent that they can be seen through the skin.
Varicose veins are common in pregnancy because there is more blood production in the course of pregnancy and this helps your baby grow. In the growth process of your baby, the uterus continues to expand to accommodate the baby and puts pressure on the veins in the leg region. This then leads to the partial blockage of the valve that allows blood to be returned to the heart. It is this accumulated pool of blood that gives you swollen legs and varicose veins.