Pregnancy is an exciting time, but that doesn’t mean it’s a time free from aches, pains and other “side effects” that can cause discomfort or concern. Most moms-to-be know all about morning sickness, backache and stretch marks, and varicose veins in the legs and feet usually aren’t a big surprise either.
But for some women, varicose veins can appear elsewhere in the lower body – specifically around the vulva, the surface of the genitalia that includes the labia and the area around the vagina. These varicose veins are called vulvar varicosities, and while they may be unattractive – and even uncomfortable – the good news is, they typically go away within a few weeks after delivery. However, in a few women, these veins can persist, causing symptoms like pain, cramping, itching and a feeling of fullness around the vulva. When vulvar varicose veins don’t disappear, it’s time to consider treatment to eliminate the damaged veins and restore normal circulation.
Vein Treatment for Vulvar Veins
Vulvar varicose veins typically are treated using one of two approaches:
Laser vein treatment uses a very thin fiber that emits controlled pulses of laser energy inside the damaged vein, causing the vein to close off so the flow of blood is prevented. Over time, the sealed vein is absorbed by the body. The fiber is inserted through a tiny “prick” in the skin just above the vein.
Sclerotherapy uses injections of a special chemical agent that irritates and scars the vein’s inner lining. Over time, the vein seals off and blood flow is prevented. As with laser vein treatment, the damaged vein is eventually absorbed by your body.
Both laser vein treatment and sclerotherapy are performed as outpatient procedures using local anesthetics, with no need for general anesthesia. During your initial vein evaluation, your doctor will determine which approach is a better choice based on your specific needs, symptoms and medical history.
Side Effects of Vein Treatment
Most people experience a relief of varicose vein symptoms soon after treatment, and many people experience few or no side effects. In some cases, vein bruising can occur following treatment – especially with sclerotherapy – as the treated area heals and recovers. Like any bruising, it can take a few days to a week or so for bruising to completely disappear. Wearing a snug undergarment can help speed healing and reduce vein bruising and minor swelling that can also occur.
Laser Vein Treatment in the Greater Cincinnati Area
Vulvar varicosities may not be as “well known” as varicose veins in the legs or feet, but they’re actually fairly common. As a leader in Cincinnati vein treatment, Vascular and Interventional Associates in Crestview Hills, KY, can help. To schedule your vein health evaluation and to learn about treatment that can eliminate your uncomfortable symptoms and improve your circulation, call our office at 859-286-7333 or visit our site and view our before & after photo gallery to see the difference professional vein care can make.