Hormones and Vein Disease: Discover the Connection

Font Size:
Woman on a chaise holding her leg and words "hormones and vein disease: discover the connection."

Hormones and Vein Disease: Discover the Connection

In the past, venous diseases were thought to be the bane of elderly women—but these conditions can strike even when you’re in your 20s. Hormonal fluctuations are a major factor that leads to the development of varicose veins.

Estrogen is one such hormone that may change vascular physiology. That is to say, slight changes in the level of estrogen dilate a vein’s walls.  Vein wall dilation is a primary structural change that can make valves leaky—and with progressive reflux, vein walls can get secondary structural changes as well. These structural abnormalities can eventually make the valves incompetent.
Likewise, there are many hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause; these changes can cause varicose veins as well.

The relationship between hormone levels and vascular systems is complex; this connection is yet to be completely understood. Nevertheless, we have a few facts that shed light on this association. So, let’s understand how hormonal changes can cause varicose veins to appear during these particular stages of life.

Varicose veins and genetics

However, getting varicose or spider veins can be genetic too. That means if one’s parents have this venous condition, then there’s a strong chance they will have it as well. That’s why heredity can also predetermine the association between you and this venous condition.

Varicose veins and spider veins develop even when there’s a change in the level of female hormones (progesterone and estrogen).  Because of this reason, pregnancy can induce symptoms of vein disease.

Vein diseases in pregnancy

During pregnancy, females may develop venous conditions while they’re in the first trimester. The chances of varicose veins appearing are high during the last 14 days of the menstrual cycle. [6] Moreover, pregnancy increases the level of hormones and blood volume as well. This sudden rise eventually causes the veins to enlarge. Likewise, the dominance of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen creates the factors that may develop varicose veins during pregnancy.

Due to both water retention and baby weight, vein valves can be stressed. Also, the enlarged uterus during pregnancy can intensify the pressure on veins. Although, varicose veins happened during pregnancy can improve in 3 months after delivery. However, abnormal veins can possibly remain with successive pregnancies.

Varicose veins during menopause

Most hormonal changes accompany menopause—the most common change happens when there’s a drop in the production of progesterone and estrogen by an ovary. On the other hand, there’s an increase in the secretion of two hormones in the pituitary gland—follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone.

During the pre-menopausal years, these two hormones stimulate the production of estrogen; the adrenal glands make progesterone. However, the overall levels of these two hormones become lower after and during menopause.

The veins found in the leg express receptors for progesterone. Therefore, most doctors attribute progesterone’s decreased levels to varicose vein’s development. The drop in the hormonal level may even weaken the valves of the veins; this weakening is one of the top factors leading to the formation of varicose veins.

Seeking treatments

Suffering from varicose veins? Well, you’re not alone. As per the American College of Phlebology, nearly 50 percent of American women develop this condition or any related venous disorder. [10] Even though it’s considered as a cosmetic condition by many, varicose veins can become a progressive and chronic disease over time.

Untreated vein disease symptoms can worsen over time. Consequently, you might even have health risks that’ll affect your ability to carry out normal activities. Whether you’re finding a way to get rid of the leg pain caused by this condition or avoiding numerous future health risks like DVT and blood clots, USA Vein Clinics provides their patients with a non-surgical vein treatment approach for you. With these venous leg ulcer treatments, the removal of varicose veins is a quick, convenient process.

Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) is a minimally invasive, outpatient treatment, which takes between 15-30 minutes from start to finish. During EVLT, our vein specialists will zap the diseased veins with a specialized laser. After the treatment, new, healthy veins will take over. 

If you are interested in learning about office-based EVLT treatment, call (888) 768-3467. One of our representatives will help you set up your initial appointment and go over your insurance coverage.

Don’t feel like calling? Click the button below to schedule your appointment.

Schedule Your Appointment

Schedule Online
Find a Location