I am only 16 weeks pregnant. Why have my varicose veins got worse?

Varicose veins are large dilated veins that often look unsightly on the back of your legs. They get worse in pregnancy because of the extra volume of blood that is now in your system, because you veins have to carry all this extra blood causing ''back pressure'' on the veins of the leg. Also, oestrogen, which is produced in large amounts in pregnancy, makes veins dilate which makes them more obvious. Your varicose veins will quite possibly feel sore and ache when you stand for long periods of time. The solution is to sit down as much as possible and quite literally ''put your feet up''; soothing ointments are available through chemists, which if massaged into your legs may help. Compression stockings are useful for some people, but not in the summer!
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