Many women abhor the summer months with the return of pretty sundresses, shorts, and even ankle-length pants. They prefer to hide their legs due to their ugly varicose veins around their ankles and on their legs, but why are women prone to varicose veins?
Progesterone, Progesterone, Progesterone
The emphasis is on the hormone progesterone. Women have more of this hormone than men, and women with varicose veins have more progesterone than women who do not suffer from this disorder.
Our blood and oxygen is pumped through our bodies via arteries, as it returns back to the heart, whereas, our veins have one-way valves, or flaps, to prevent blood from flowing backward. If the valves are not working – or closing properly, blood can move backward and cause pressure in our veins.
Progesterone maintains several organs in our body and regulates the menstrual cycle, but it also relaxes the blood vessel walls. When this occurs, our valves also become relaxed, and blood pools, or builds up, within the vein stretching it out and creating bulges that show up on your skin, known as varicose veins.
Our lower legs have the hardest job in fighting gravity, and that is why so many varicose veins show up on the lower legs.
Other Risk Factors For Developing Varicose Veins
As we already know women are four times more likely to develop varicose veins than men. In fact, 50% of American women will suffer from vein disease in their lifetime.
Besides being a woman, the following factors make you more prone to developing varicose veins:
- Heredity contributes to developing varicose veins
- Being older than age 50 makes you more prone to varicose veins
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make you more vulnerable, and constant pressure on the pelvic area leads to pressure and damage to pelvic veins
- Being overweight
- Spending too much time on your feet.
- An injury to a leg
- A sedentary lifestyle
Treatments Are Available
If you faithfully elevate your legs whenever you can, use compression stockings, and are making an effort to get more exercise, but your varicose veins still cause pain and discomfort, it may be time to see a vein specialist.
Request a Consultation for Varicose Vein Treatment
If you are unhappy with how your varicose veins look, and you want to investigate some treatment options, contact Vein Center at Brinton Lake in Glen Mills, PA at (610) 579-3516 to schedule an appointment at our vein clinic.