Who Is Affected by Varicose Veins?

While the underlying cause of varicose veins is unknown, a number of risk factors have been identified:

Heredity – Varicose veins tend to run in families. If your family members have had varicose veins it is likely that you will develop them.

Gender – Due to the production of one of the major female hormones, progesterone, females are 4 times more likely to get varicose veins.

Age – Varicose veins progressively become worse and occur more frequently as we age. The elastic fibers in our bodily tissues gradually break down, causing weakening of the blood vessels.

Weight - Excess bodyweight increases the pressure on the vein valves and can contribute to their weakening.

Occupation – People whose jobs require them to stand or sit for long periods of time are at greater risk of developing varicose veins. When sitting or standing still, the valves in the veins in your legs are under increased pressure, which causes them to weaken.

Hormones – Fluctuations in hormone levels brought on by puberty, pregnancy, menopause, or hormone pills including oral contraceptives can lead to varicose veins.

  • 70% of women develop vein related problems during pregnancy including: Fluid retention; pain, heaviness or fatigue in the feet and legs; mild swelling of the feet and legs; and spider veins.
  • 20% of pregnant women develop full blown varicose veins from the hormonal changes, the increasing weight of the baby pressing on the pelvic veins, the increasing weight of the mother, and increased blood volume. All of these factors put extra stress on the veins in your legs.
  • 50% of new mothers will suffer from vein related conditions for the rest of their lives with 1 in 10 affected by varicose veins indefinitely. Left untreated these can lead to chronic swelling, phlebitis (vein inflammation), thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the vein due to a blood clot), and blood clots.

Before & After