The Link Between Varicose Veins and Menstrual Pain
I have seen an increase in the number of women who are asking, "Why do my varicose veins hurt during my period?" In fact, a Purcellville, VA teacher recently came to see me because she has to take time off work every month due to leg pain caused by her varicose veins. She had received no satisfactory answer from her family doctor, had tried several over the counter varicose vein creams, and still had repeated symptoms of aching and tenderness.
Estrogen and progesterone cause a weakening of the vein walls, allowing them to swell and stretch. This is what typically causes the pain associated with the menstrual cycle. In addition, pregnant women tend to note a significant exacerbation of varicose vein pain, which is associated with the elevation in the same hormones.
The vein creams and gels may soothe an achy leg, but they do nothing to reduce the abnormally high pressures in the leg veins or prevent long-term complications like discoloration or ulcers or clots. Medical grade support hose can help temporarily reduce the symptoms of vein pain, but because these symptoms are due to a structural weakness in the veins, permanent resolution is best achieved with either endovenous ablation (Venefit) or phlebectomy. Both of these procedures are usually covered by your health insurance, as they treat a medical issue.
When your varicose veins are causing pain, tenderness, or swelling, it is time to seek the advice of a qualified venous expert, usually one who is a member of the American Venous Forum or the American College of Phlebology. Contact CVL with any questions or to set up a consultation.