Menopause dramatically reduces the amount of estrogen and progesterone produced in the ovaries. Because of that, women over 50 are at a higher risk of developing varicose veins.
Estrogen and progesterone contribute significantly to the health of women’s capillaries and veins. In addition to supporting vein valve functioning, these hormones also enhance blood flow.
Degradation of collagen fibers and smooth muscle relaxation caused by the loss of progesterone and estrogen promotes varicose veins. But it also causes two other vein diseases called venous insufficiency and venous thrombosis.
Veins and capillaries have cell receptors for both estrogen and progesterone. Studies show that the veins of menopausal women actually create more receptors in an attempt to “find” female hormones essential for their normal functioning.
Vein Valve Disorder and Menopause
Varicose veins emerge when valves controlling blood flow through veins don’t open properly. Valve dysfunction causes blood to pool in veins. Over time this will eventually result in visibly bulging, bluish veins.
While pregnancy or taking birth control pills may cause weakening of valves and temporary development of certain vein conditions, menopause will produce permanent varicose veins as ovaries drop production of estrogen and progesterone.
Varicose veins are typically asymptomatic and don’t present a health risk. In some cases, people experience their legs feeling heavy or achy. The swelling of the ankles and feet often accompanies this vein condition. More rarely, varicose veins produce burning sensations and itching around bulging veins.
Many women seeking help for varicose veins want to improve their appearance. More common than the uncomfortable symptoms that present, is the desire to eliminate and prevent.
There are a few minimally invasive procedures to improve the appearance of varicose veins on your legs. They do not require hospital stays or lengthy downtimes. Choosing the right treatment should be discussed with a doctor after a complete examination.
Can Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Reverse Development of Varicose Veins?
HRT may reduce the number of varicose veins that emerge during and after menopause. Although, hormone replacement cannot completely prevent veins from appearing. Hormone Replacement Therapy is a good way to keep your veins working properly. It is a viable treatment to consider after varicose veins are eliminated.
In addition to HRT, many women find that being a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, and having an active lifestyle reduces the number of varicose veins that appear. Sitting or standing for too long in one position can also affect blood flow and veins.
Varicose Vein Treatment in Randolph, NJ
If you have large or visible veins above the skin’s surface, an ambulatory phlebectomy can help. This treatment is usually performed in conjunction with another therapy. It is minimally invasive. Patients can get back to their daily routine a few hours after the procedure.
It is typical to wear compression stockings for several weeks after this procedure. They help reduce discomfort and promote healing of treated areas.
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)
Endovenous Laser Treatment (ELVT) is an outpatient procedure that uses a laser to remove varicose veins. The heat emitted by the laser fiber effectively damages and shrinks varicose veins until they are absorbed by the body.
Once veins shrink enough to stop functioning, your circulatory system simply reroutes blood to nearby veins. Most patients see results from EVLT at the initial procedure.
This form of therapy is often used to treat reticular veins and certain varicose veins. A sclerosing agent is injected into the vein to cause it to collapse and disappear. Ultrasound is used to guide the vein specialist to areas that are difficult to see from the surface.
Ultrasound guided sclerotherapy can be done with other forms of treatment for the best possible results. Sodium chloride should never be used as a sclerosing agent as it causes severe pain.
Learn more about our varicose vein treatment options by calling New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center today. Ask about scheduling your free vein screening.