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Understanding Women’s Susceptibility to Varicose Veins

by | Nov 9, 2023

Women are more likely to get varicose veins resulting from a unique blend of genetic, hormonal, and lifestyle factors. While varicose veins can also occur in men, women face distinct risk factors that increase their susceptibility to this condition.

smiling women of different nationalities

Women and Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a common medical condition that occurs when the valves in veins become damaged or weakened. The increase in blood pressure causes blood to collect, making the veins visibly swollen, twisted, and lumpy in texture. These veins are often purple or blue and their unsightly appearance can be bothersome for those who experience them.

While varicose veins are generally not a serious health threat, they can cause discomfort, aching, and swelling of the affected area. In more serious cases, complications such as blood clots may occur. There are many risk factors for developing varicose veins including age, weight, smoking, inactivity, and being female. Women are four times more likely than men to develop varicose veins. Because women are more susceptible than men when it comes to developing varicose veins, it’s important to get a more in-depth understanding of how they develop and what the key causes are.

 

How Varicose Veins Develop in Women

Varicose veins can develop in women due to a combination of genetic, hormonal, and lifestyle factors. While men are still capable of developing varicose veins, women have several risk factors that make them more prone to this condition. Here are some risk factors for varicose veins developing in women:

  • Pregnancy: The pressure on pelvic veins from the uterus growing can slow down the blood flow from the legs. Additional weight and standing for long periods also cause damage.
  • Hormones: In addition to excess hormones from pregnancy and birth control, natural hormones such as estrogen and progesterone also play a part in the development of varicose veins. These hormones affect the elasticity and strength of vein walls which impair the proper function of the one-way valves within veins.
  • Birth control: Contraceptives contain synthetic hormones, primarily estrogen and progestin. Your body’s hormones directly affect how your cardiovascular system functions. Excess hormones can weaken vein walls and blood vessels, making them more susceptible to dilation and damage.
  • Menopause: Women’s hormones are continuously fluctuating, even as they age. As estrogen levels decline, it can lead to changes in the vein structure and function.

While not all women on birth control will develop varicose veins, it’s essential to discuss any concerns or family history of venous issues with a varicose veins specialist like Dr. Manish Taneja to explore appropriate contraceptive options and monitor for any signs of vein-related complications.

Other Varicose Veins Risk Factors to Watch Out For

While hormones play a significant role, it’s important to note that other risk factors influence the development of varicose veins. There is no cure for varicose veins, however, there are preventative measure that can be taken to prevent them from showing. (Learn more about best practices to follow on our other blog post “How to Prevent Varicose Veins”.)  Additionally, there are treatments that your vascular specialist in Singapore can perform to reduce their appearance. In addition to preventative measures and treatments, consider the following lifestyle risk factors to watch out for:

  • Smoking: Tobacco use can lead to constriction of blood vessels and a decrease in blood flow. This constriction can make it harder for blood to circulate effectively. The various chemicals, especially nicotine, inflame and tighten blood vessels, which not only cause varicose veins but also prevent your organs from receiving oxygen.
  • Alcohol: The chemicals in alcohol have a vasodilatory effect, meaning it causes blood vessels to expand and relax. This increases the pressure, making blood flow more challenging. It can also slow down blood flow, which puts extra strain on the veins as they try to move the blood to the heart.

 

Varicose Vein Treatments

There are several options to relieve symptoms and improve the appearance of varicose veins. Aside from the aforementioned lifestyle choices, patients can implement exercise into their daily routine and avoid prolonged sitting or standing. Compression stockings are something you can wear and are specifically designed to provide pressure to your legs to improve blood flow and swelling. Lastly, there are minimally invasive procedures that can be done, such as endovenous laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation, phlebectomy, and endoscopic vein surgery.

Restore Your Vascular Health with Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic

Dr. Manish Taneja understands the desire to want to keep varicose veins and their visibility at bay. Being a certified neuro-interventional and peripheral vascular interventionists in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja can treat your varicose veins using a variety of advanced medical procedures. To hear more about how to improve your vascular health, contact Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic today.

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is a private specialized varicose veins clinic based in Singapore. We emphasize accurate diagnosis, quality care and personalized treatment for all our patients. For more information, we invite you to fill in and submit your contact information and inquiry details on our contact us page.

Varicose Veins and Birth Control Pills

There is some evidence to suggest a potential association between the use of certain birth control pills and an increased risk of developing varicose veins.

Am I at Risk of Varicose Veins, Spider Veins, or Deep Vein Thrombosis?

The appearance of varicose and spider veins on your body is nothing of immediate concern. If there are symptoms associated with them, schedule a visit with your doctor to diagnose and treat varicose veins. Spider veins, varicose veins, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can occur on individuals with all body types, genders, and ages. The following demographics may have a higher chance of experiencing them.

  • Those who are overweight (therefore, maintain a healthy weight to reduce the pressure)
  • Pregnant women
  • Females
  • Individuals between the ages of 40 and 80
  • Those who are inactive/not exercising (even sitting or standing for long periods)
  • Smoker
  • Frequent flyers
  • Those who have had surgery or leg trauma

Varicose veins specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja, offers comprehensive care for varicose veins patients at Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore.

Assessment of Varicose Veins

Clinical examination and ultrasound doppler scan are most important tools in assessment and deciding management of varicose veins. This takes about 15-20 minutes to do and is usually done in the clinic itself.

Treatment of Varicose Veins

There are various techniques available to treat varicose veins depending on clinical presentation. These include:

  • Conservative medical management including compression socks
  • Laser endovenous treatment (EVLT)
  • Radio-frequency endovenous ablation (RFA)
  • Clarivein endovenous treatment
  • VenaSeal endovenous closure system
  • Microwave endovenous ablation
  • Open surgery
  • Venous avulsions
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Cryolaser and cryosclerotherapy

What are the Advantages of Minimally Invasive Treatments?

  • No major surgery
  • No or minimal visible scars
  • Quick recovery
  • Same day admission and discharge
  • Clinic based treatments

Learn more about “Spider Veins: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment”. Although they might be a cosmetic concern, they can also lead to serious health issues. You might also be interested to find out more on our blog post, “Deep Vein Thrombosis: Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment” about the difference between DVT and varicose veins.

Consult a Vascular Specialist for Your Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

Dr. Manish Taneja, a certified vascular and varicose veins specialist in Singapore, has extensive experience in the treatment of all vascular interventions and looks after venous diseases like varicose veins, spider veins, and reticular veins. Come in for a further evaluation and contact us to arrange  your varicose veins appointment today.

 

Dr. Manish Taneja performing surgery

Varicose Veins Resources

Explore our varicose veins and spider veins resources for patients. Gain insight into the diagnosis and treatment of varicose and spider veins conditions, their underlying causes, symptoms, and complications. Connect with your vascular health.

Keep Varicose Veins and Spider Veins at Bay

If your legs feel sore persistently, achy when standing long periods, or maybe you notice blue or purple veins even bulging in the area, chances are these symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins could lead to other serious venous diseases such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), or Leg Swelling due to increased pressure forming larger blood clots over time. Varicose veins are fully treatable with minimally invasive procedures and treatments offering minimal downtime and quick recovery preventing further complications. Long term effects of untreated varicose veins can hinder your daily life and impact your health.

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic in Singapore is here to diagnose and treat varicose veins smoothening patients’ experience to find relief and comfort. As a vascular and interventional radiology specialist based in Singapore, Dr. Manish Taneja looks after a spectrum of venous diseases, peripheral vascular malformations, and peripheral arterial disease. Dr. Manish Taneja also has extensive experience in performing all vascular interventions, non-vascular interventions and interventional oncology procedures.

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our varicose veins specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.