There are many reasons women might experience menopause with less than an enthusiastic response, among them possible cardiovascular problems and varicose veins.
While menopause can bring on more serious issues, varicose veins could be the most visible. Many menopause changes are traced to a decrease in production of estrogen and progesterone by the ovaries, and this seems to be a frequent trigger for the first signs of varicose veins in women who never suffered from them before.
As always, genetics probably play the largest role: If your mother or grandmother got varicose veins after menopause, you are a likely candidate too, and there isn’t much you can do to prevent it.
The decrease in hormones may weaken both the vein walls and the valves inside your veins that help prevent blood from pooling. It is the pooled blood that leads to enlargement, the purple, blue or red coloring, and rope-like appearance of varicose veins.
A drop in hormones might make existing varicose veins less painful, though, although some menopausal women report that their veins throb.
As with other symptoms of menopause, doctors might suggest hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as a way to slow down varicose veins. There are potential advantages and disadvantages to HRT that you must consider carefully with your doctor before starting the therapy.
If a doctor did recommend it as a varicose vein treatment, it’s probably only for women who are already watching their weight and exercising regularly. Even for those women, HRT is probably more likely to be prescribed as a remedy for hot flashes and similar issues, and to prevent osteoporosis.
If you have varicose veins, no matter what the cause, they can be removed with modern, safe treatments. Contact the Vein Institute of Connecticut to schedule an appointment with our doctor.