Similar to aging, menopause affects the body in different ways, such as causing bones to become brittle and sexual desire to decrease. It can also cause discolored, bulging veins to appear in the legs. The development of varicose veins in menopause is due to a decreased production of estrogen and progesterone. Decreased hormone levels cause vein walls to weaken, as both progesterone and estrogen play a role in the health of capillaries and veins. The lower hormone levels can also lead to malfunctioning vein valves, which increases the chances of blood collecting in the legs and ankles.
The normal aging process often causes blood vessel walls to weaken, which is why men can get varicose veins. Women, however, are more likely to suffer from varicose veins compared to men because of the hormonal changes that occur before and during menopause.
What Can I Do to Decrease Vein Disease Severity During Menopause?
Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to prevent the onset of vein disease. Participating in low-impact exercise is good for your circulatory system overall, and it can help keep blood from pooling in the legs. If you sit for long periods of time, remind yourself to get up and move every hour. However, these lifestyle changes are only the first piece in the puzzle. It’s crucial to find out how vein treatment can reduce your risk of serious health conditions like venous ulcers or blood clots.
Vein treatment works by routing your blood flow to healthy veins, allowing your body to absorb the damaged ones. Once the blood is rerouted, symptoms such as heaviness, fatigue, swelling, restlessness, burning, or cramping should go away. This is because blood is able to successfully circulate from your legs to your heart.
In addition, if you are going through menopause, it’s very important that you are aware of all of the risk factors that can lead to vein disease. Menopause shouldn’t slow you down or cause you to avoid exercising due to leg pain or swelling. Vein treatment can help you live without painful symptoms, so you can stay active and healthy.
If you experience varicose veins due to menopause, there are a few treatment options.
Hormone Replacement Therapy for Varicose Veins From Menopause
Unfortunately for some women, taking the extra precautions and following all the “doctor’s orders” may not be enough to combat the development of varicose veins. For these women, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may be a good solution. HRT involves artificially raising the levels of the hormones that diminish during menopause.
Below are some pros and cons of HRT to help you decide if this option is right for you.
Pros of HRT
Some women experience only slight to moderate symptoms during menopause, while others experience severe symptoms. HRT can help the visibility of varicose veins and ease other symptoms associated with underlying vein disease. HRT is useful in preventing osteoporosis, which can help you to avoid fractures later in life. It can also help relieve hot flashes, reduce sleep problems, decrease mood swings, and lower your risk for colon cancer.
Cons of HRT
Many people don’t like the fact that HRT is artificial and alters our bodies natural aging process. In some cases, it can also lead to other health conditions like breast and uterine cancer, heart attack, or stroke. Women who undergo HRT can also experience blood clots and a rise in blood pressure.
A recent study published in the British Medical Journal has found that women taking hormone replacement therapy medication have an increased risk of developing blood clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot develops in one of the deep veins in either of your legs . This blood clots has the potential to dislodge and travel to the lung, where it can cause a fatal blockage also known as a pulmonary embolism (PE).
In the same study, researchers found that women who were actively taking hormone replacement therapy pills were 58 percent more likely to get a blood clot than those who were not on that medication. However, it is also important to realize that the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis is still low and there are tangible ways to help prevent this from occurring. Vein treatment used in conjunction with lifestyle changes, as well as taking precautions when traveling, can help you prevent blood clots.
While HRT can help lower your risk of developing varicose veins, it won’t prevent them completely. If you already have varicose or spider veins, you should get checked for the underlying cause. This will help prevent more varicose veins from forming and can also relieve some of your symptoms.
Non-Surgical Treatment For Varicose Veins From Menopause
If HRT doesn’t sound like the treatment option for you, the good news is there are other options. If your varicose veins from menopause cause you discomfort, you should look into non-surgical vein treatments such as Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) or Ultrasound-Guide Sclerotherapy. These minimally invasive treatments offer an alternative to hormone replacement therapy to treat varicose veins due to menopause. While your varicose veins may seem only cosmetic, the achy feeling in your legs and the discomfort you feel when you walk will only get worse if they are left untreated. At USA Vein Clinics, we specialize in outpatient, non-surgical treatments and are passionate about helping improve our patients’ quality of life.
Whether you know you have vein disease or need to get checked, USA Vein Clinics makes vein treatment easy and convenient. Our treatments take between 15 to 30 minutes depending on the number of veins affected and are covered by Medicare, as well as most insurances. Don’t suffer through menopause with painful varicose veins, contact us at 888.768.3467 to learn more about which treatment would work best for you, or schedule an initial appointment online.