Doctor Eston Wenger

Aug 16, 2022 | From the Desk of Dr. Eston Wenger of Premier Surgical Cleveland

Why are Women More Likely to Develop Varicose Veins?

Did you know that around 45 percent of American men and up to 55 percent of American women age 40 to 80 will suffer from varicose veins or a related venous disorder in their lifetime? That’s 22 million women and 11 million men affected by varicose veins! We can see from the statistics that women are more often affected by these painful, ropelike veins. Let’s look at a few reasons why women are more likely to develop varicose veins during their lifetime.

Pregnancy -During pregnancy, a woman’s blood volume increases by 25 percent. This blood increase combined with a growing fetus, puts increased pressure on the venous system. The increased pressure means that more is required of the woman’s leg veins, as they push that extra blood up, against gravity. All of this extra pressure can result in the development of varicose veins. Varicose veins tend to become more pronounced further into pregnancy due to added pressure from the growing uterus.

Pregnancy hormones can also play a role in vein health. Fluctuations in hormones during pregnancy can weaken the blood vessels in a woman’s legs, increasing her risk for varicose veins.

Menopause – Speaking of hormonal changes…as women age and their bodies start the process of menopause, a drastic drop in progesterone and estrogen can occur. The drop in progesterone may contribute to the weakening of the valves in their leg veins. When these valves weaken, blood can pool in the legs causing varicose veins.

Weight Gain – Pregnancy and Menopause both can contribute to weight gain in women. Too much added weight can put more pressure on the veins in their legs causing them to work harder to push blood back up to the heart.

Even though women are more likely to develop varicose veins than their male counterparts, they don’t have to suffer.

If you have developed varicose veins, no matter the reason, there are many treatment options available, from conservative treatments to minimally invasive surgical procedures. Give Dr. Eston Wenger a call at Premier Surgical Associates of Cleveland, TN, at (423) 472-5423 or click here to request an appointment online.

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