Varicose Veins and Menopause
Introduction to Varicose Veins
Varicose veins, the twisted, enlarged veins that can appear in your legs, are more than simply a cosmetic concern. Varicose veins can lead to discomfort and pain, and sometimes, they may result in more serious health complications. But what causes these prominent veins to develop?
Increased pressure in the veins of the legs often causes the development of varicose veins. This pressure can weaken the vein walls, leading to venous insufficiency. Under normal conditions, one-way valves in the veins ensure blood flows toward the heart. However, if these valves malfunction, blood may accumulate in the veins and then begin to swell, which can cause them to form varicose veins.
Relationship Between Menopause and Varicose Veins
Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life when her menstrual cycle stops. During this time, her body goes through hormonal shifts, which can have various effects, including on the veins. The decrease in estrogen and progesterone, which once kept veins strong and flexible, can weaken veins and make them more likely to become varicose, which are those swollen, twisted veins that often appear on the legs.
Role of Reduced Collagen Production in Venous Insufficiency
With menopause, the body also produces less collagen, which helps keep skin and veins stretchy. This drop in collagen, along with the hormone changes, makes it easier for varicose veins to develop. Estrogen and progesterone are essential for keeping vein walls flexible, helping them to open and close properly. When levels of these hormones go up and down and then drop during menopause, veins don’t flex as they should. This doesn’t only change how the veins look. It can also make your legs hurt and ache because the veins work harder to pump blood back up to the heart.
Vein Valve Disorder and Menopause
During menopause, the vein walls become more prone to stretching, and the vein valves, which are crucial for preventing backflow of blood, can become dysfunctional. When these valves fail, blood can pool in the lower extremities, increasing venous pressure and the risk of varicose veins. In fact, vein valve disorders are one of the leading causes of varicose veins during menopause. It’s a compounding problem: as the valves become less competent, the veins become more varicose, and as the veins become more varicose, it puts additional strain on the valves.
Varicose Veins Treatments
Minimally invasive procedures have become the norm for treating varicose veins. For those facing the reality of varicose veins, there is a spectrum of treatments that cater to varying degrees of severity.
- Compression therapy is often the first line of defense, helping to support the veins and encourage better blood flow.
- Sclerotherapy, an outpatient procedure involving the injection of a solution into the affected veins, causes them to collapse and fade.
- More advanced cases might benefit from endovenous thermal ablation, where heat is used to seal off bad veins.
- Laser treatments are another option, providing a non-invasive method to reduce the appearance and discomfort of varicose veins.
- For the most severe cases, surgical options such as phlebectomy or vein stripping may be necessary.
Each of these treatments offers improved aesthetics and relief from the discomfort and potential health issues associated with varicose veins.
Tips for Vein Health in Menopausal Women
The benefits of regular low-impact exercises like walking or swimming cannot be overstated. Similarly, a diet rich in flavonoids can help reduce the likelihood of blood pooling.
To support venous health during menopause:
- Engage in regular exercise to improve circulation.
- Adopt a balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight and reduce pressure on your legs.
- Elevate your legs when resting to improve blood flow.
- Wear compression stockings as advised by a specialist.
Many women consider hormone replacement therapy (HRT) during menopause. Consulting with a healthcare provider is critical to clearly understand the effects of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) on your vein health. Read more about lifestyle changes that can help prevent varicose veins in our other informative article.
Take Charge of Your Vein Health During Menopause
If you’re concerned about varicose veins during menopause, it’s crucial to consult with a varicose veins specialist who can provide personalized care, like Dr. Manish Taneja. Our clinic provides a comprehensive array of treatments for various conditions. Visit Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic to schedule your consultation today.
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
- Individuals between the ages of 40 and 80
- Those who are inactive/not exercising (even sitting or standing for long periods)
- Frequent flyers
- Those who have had surgery or leg trauma
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
- 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.
Varicose Veins Resources
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