Vulval Varicosities - the nitty gritty
By Ice Ice Booby
Vulval Varicosities – haven’t heard of them, then WOW you’re lucky! Coz 55% of women will experience them at some stage of their life… 55%! Thats more than 1 in 2!! And do we talk about having swollen, purple bits down below?!? No! We don’t! So Ice Ice Booby is going to….
OMG WHAT ARE THEY??
I’m sure you have all seen varicose veins on someone’s ankles or legs at some time or another. They can appear discolored, puffy and bulge out from under the surface of the skin. This type of vein can develop on the vulva or at the vaginal entrance. Women will most often describe them as gross, twisted and swollen and be purple or bluish in colour. They might appear individually or together in clumps and cause discomfort, pain or pressure at the vulva. Vulval varicosities (VV) can occur to any woman, but most often they occur during pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester.
WHY ME? WHY DO THEY OCCUR?
Loads of changes occur during pregnancy – usually too fast for our own liking and heads -but everything grows due to the normal hormones of pregnancy. Because of the increased blood volume circulating your pregnant body, the increased pressure in your pelvic region from the growing size of bubs and your tummy, and the natural softening of the walls of the veins, these delights can occur.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THEM?
Haven’t had them before or haven’t got them now? Then thumbs up to you, however implementing these hints now and sticking to them religiously will help minimise developing them. You’ve got them now?!? Don’t worry, it’s normal and it’s ok – here’s some helpful tips too to help keep them at bay.
Don’t get constipated – as straining on the loo causes increased pressure… thus putting more pressure in the nether regions and the veins down below. Maintain good poo-ing posture and use a foot stool if you find it comfortable.
Avoid standing still or sitting in the same place for too long – get up and move to get the blood circulating.
Don’t squat – again this causes too much pressure in your pelvis.
Pelvic floor exercises, pelvic floor exercises, pelvic floor exercises – enough said.
Rest – this is a BIG one. We’re all busy – we know that. But this is what WILL help. You’re preggas – have a little lie down (on your side). Find or make time. This will help relieve pressure on your vulva and vagina. And you know what else you can do while having a rest – ICE!!
Ice for 15-20 minutes per day to help relieve the swelling and ease the discomfort caused by the VV’s. Ice Ice Booby’s perineal pack is ideal for this very reason, so get your money’s worth and use it WHILE your pregnant. Icing will also MAKE you REST – thus getting two benefits for the price of one. WINNING!
Using support garments will also help aid the negative effects of gravity and help reduce symptoms of VV’s.
WILL THEY BE FOREVER?
Unfortunately we can’t promise anything here. Most often than not, once your not pregnant anymore they will shrink with time. You might find that they reoccur in future pregnancies or during your period. Nevertheless, it is most certainly worth doing whatever you can to help minimise this problem by using the hints and tips from above, to help you enjoy your pregnancy and recover well post birth.
Ice Ice Booby
ps. Ladies, talk… Chances are this happened to your mate, mum, sister, colleague, boss. It is NORMAL, you are NORMAL. We just need to know what to do to help it and not ignore it.
Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.