Varicose Veins In The Vaginal Area
Written by Dallas Vein Specialists on March 31, 2012
Today on the DR. OZ SHOW there was a discussion about discomfort from varicose veins that occur in the vaginal area, specifically involving the labia. While the discussion was somewhat informative, it left out much important information.
Varicose veins occurring in this area are the result of changes during pregnancy in the circulation in the veins of the pelvis. During pregnancy there are direct hormonal changes on the vein walls that make them softer and more likely to stretch and distend. Additionally, there is direct pressure on the pelvic veins from the enlarging pregnant uterus and an increase in the blood volume in the body during pregnancy.
Pregnant women with a family history of varicose veins are at increased risk to suffer from the development of varicose veins in the legs. Varicose veins may also develop in the genital area with or without involvement of the legs. Often I see female patients with varicose veins in their legs that occurred during pregnancy and did not go away after delivery. In some cases these leg varicosities can actually be traced with ultrasound imaging to arise from direct communications from pelvic inflow veins seen entering the leg from the pelvic junction at the upper thigh. Often these patients will have accompanying varicose veins of the labia. These may be present without any discomfort, but in some women these are uncomfortable, perhaps even more so just before or during menstrual periods.
In answer to the question raised on the DR. OZ SHOW concerning what can be done to treat this problem, there were some suggestions such as applying ice, wearing what appeared to me to be confining and hot compression shorts, and taking flavonoids. I think these could be tried, but there is a better and more successful treatment.
Varicose veins of the female external genitalia can be abolished bysclerotherapy. These veins can be injected with a foam sclerosant, either under direct vision by transillumination with a vein light or with the aid of ultrasound guidance. The treated veins clot and with time are removed by the body’s own inflammatory process. The treatment involves the use of a small needle that is usually easily tolerated. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis, takes little time, and does not require anesthesia. I usually do not advocate any compression, as it is difficult to achieve comfortably in this area. The veins usually disappear within a few weeks. Any local discomfort associated with the varicose veins is usually immediately relieved. Women with this problem should entertain seeing an experienced vein specialist.