Are women more prone to Varicose Veins?
You may have read that varicose veins affect women more than men. If you are a woman suffering from varicose veins, your vulnerability to the condition may be frustrating. But why are you at a higher risk? We discuss it here.
One of the well-known contributors to varicose veins is pregnancy. The risk of developing this condition increases substantially with subsequent pregnancies. This detail gives us a better understanding of why women are more prone to varicose veins than men. The increase in progesterone during pregnancy is a major reason for the development of varicose veins during this time.
Progesterone is vital for relaxing and softening of pelvic structures to encourage labor. When the hormone is produced in such high amounts, however, it can also help the walls of blood vessels relax. Studies that have assessed progesterone levels in pregnant women revealed that the higher levels of progesterone are related to varicose veins. Research has additionally found that the leg veins have progesterone-receptors that make legs more sensitive to this hormone.
But what about the women who have not been pregnant?
You don’t have to be pregnant for progesterone to be produced. The hormone plays an essential role in monthly menstruation and day-to-day function in various organs. It stimulates and regulates important bodily functions, and varicose veins are one risk having this hormone.
As we age, women are specifically affected by menopause. The decrease in estrogen and progesterone weakening the veins further to worsen vein problems.
You Can Have Healthy Veins!
We have deduced so far; the presence of progesterone is one of the several risk factors for varicose veins. It is a factor, we women, have no control over. To balance the risks brought about, you can take control. If you work at a desk, do a few calves raises every hour. Take short walks around the office. Brief walking or in-place movement of your feet keeps blood circulating.
Regardless of gender, varicose veins can develop in anyone and cause pain, discomfort, and fatigue in the legs. If left untreated, it can cause more serious problems to develop such as DVT. Doctors recommend compression stockings and/or vein removal surgery to make a recovery faster and safer.