Why Do Women Tend to Get Varicose Veins More Often?

Why Do Women Tend to Get Varicose Veins More Often?

Anyone can develop varicose veins, but certain factors do increase your risk, including your age, genetics, and gender.

Board-certified surgeon and vein treatment specialist Dr. Michael Gioscia, who leads our team at the Vein Institute of Westchester, explains the causes of varicose veins and what may make women more prone to developing them.

Understanding the underlying cause of varicose veins

Most common in your lower extremities, varicose veins are caused by weakening of vein walls and malfunctioning of the tiny valves within veins that help push blood from your legs back up toward your heart.

When vein walls relax and valves lose their function, the blood can fall backward and collect within the vein. This leads to the visible twisting, bulging, and bluish discoloration commonly noted with varicose veins.

Along with cosmetic concerns, varicose veins can cause symptoms such as:

Approximately 22 million women and 11 million men ages 40-80 years have varicose veins, according to a research study published by the American Heart Association.

Why do more women than men have varicose veins?

Estrogen and progesterone, which play an important role in female menstruation and fertility, may be partly responsible for the increased incidence of varicose veins in women.

These hormones cause vein walls to relax and stretch, which may result in the leaky valves that can lead to varicose veins.

The increased volume of blood flow that occurs naturally during pregnancy also places additional strain on your leg veins. This can cause vein walls and valves to weaken.

Other factors that can stress your veins and therefore increase your risk of developing varicosities include:

Increased exercise, a low salt diet, and changing your sitting or standing position frequently throughout the day may help prevent the occurrence of varicose veins. But these measures don’t reverse the damage or cosmetic effects related to varicose veins.

How do you treat varicose veins?

During your initial consultation at the Vein Institute of Westchester, Dr. Gioscia takes time to fully evaluate your vein issues and devise the most effective and cosmetically appealing treatment strategy. This isn't a one-fix-for-all practice. 

Dr. Gioscia has extensive experience in all possible solutions. Depending on the number and type of veins requiring treatment, your customized plan may include:   

These minimally invasive procedures are performed in our facility for your convenience, require little downtime or aftercare, and provide superior cosmetic results.

For more information about varicose vein treatments or the other services we offer, schedule an evaluation today with Dr. Gioscia at our White Plains, New York, office.

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