There are a number of risk factors associated with varicose and spider veins. The most common contributing factor is heredity. Gender also has a role to play. An estimated 50% of American women suffer from spider and varicose veins, while only 40% of the over 40 male population have venous disorders. Fortunately, these problems are easily treatable for both genders.
Hormonal factors may account for women’s greater vein disease susceptibility. Women are more likely to experience circulation issues during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Birth control pills, estrogen, and progesterone can also increase a woman’s risk. Women who are pregnant are more likely to develop varicose veins, particularly during their first trimester. Hormone levels and blood volume increase during pregnancy, causing enlarged veins. The enlarged uterus can also increase pressure on the veins, further increasing a woman’s risk. Fortunately, most women find that their varicose veins improve within three months after birth, although with successive pregnancies abnormal veins are more likely to remain.
Aging, obesity, leg injury, and standing occupations can also predispose an individual to vein disease. People who are at risk should watch for varicose veins inside the legs, on the calves, and behind the knee. If you suffer from discolored and bulging veins or swollen ankles, we can help!