Dealing With Vulvar Varicosities
Vulvar varicosities are varicose veins which sometimes develop in the vulva during pregnancy. A combination of hormone surge and increasing blood flow in the pelvic area, combined with an enlarged uterus in the latter stages of pregnancy, is often the underlying cause of vulvar varicosities. The veins in the vagina often swell, and the swollen blood vessels take on a blister-like appearance, and are painful when subjected to even slight pressure or to the touch.
Normally A Temporary Condition - In most cases, vulvar varicosities subside following childbirth and the swelling of the veins eventually disappears entirely. In some instances however, the painful condition may linger on for some time. Pressures created by the enlarged uterus and the effects of increased hormone levels decrease after childbirth, which has the result of lessening the pain, even if swelling in the veins is slow to disappear.
Not everyone of course suffers from this affliction. It is preventable to some degree, though not entirely, but fortunately there are a number of things that can be done to alleviate the pain and discomfort should the condition raise its ugly head. Although some of the methods recommended as preventive measures, may not keep the blood vessels from swelling and vulvar varicosities from forming, the methods can certainly limit a number of other conditions affecting the vaginal area, and compounding the symptoms of vulvar varicosities should they appear.
What Can Be Done Beforehand - Even before pregnancy occurs, a program of general vulvar hygiene should be regularly practiced. The area should be kept dry and free of any conditions that would allow bacteria to multiply. Wiping from front to back is one method recommended to keep the spread of bacteria to a minimum. Wearing cotton rather than synthetic underwear, and wearing clothing that is not too tight-fitting in the crotch will also help create a clean and dry environment unfriendly to bacteria. Anything that would tend to irritate the vulvar area, such as perfumed soaps should be avoided, as any irritation simply compounds the pain associated with vulvar varicosities. Washing underclothing with a non detergent soap, and rinsing well after washing is also highly recommended. Regular bathing is encouraged, with a bath being preferable to a shower. While a gentle soap can be used in the vulvar area, it is recommended to avoid doing so as much as possible, and simply rely on the bath water to provide the necessary cleansing action.
Treatments Offering Relief - If vulvar varicosities do appear, and are a cause of discomfort, there are a number of things which can be done, not to cure the condition, but to provide relief. An ice pack or cold compress on the vulvar area will usually give immediate, though not permanent relief. Compression and supporting mechanisms are also very helpful, as they reduce the pressures being placed on the vulva and on the swollen veins. Just as support pantyhose are often recommended to provide relief when varicose veins appear in the legs, a special brace can provide relief in the vulvar area by acting as a compression agent, compressing the entire crotch area, and in doing so preventing the pooling of blood in the vulvar region. There are several different products of this type on the market, most of which are soft, lightweight, and washable.
The use of natural therapies are another approach that can be taken. Practitioners may recommend dietary supplements, herbal-based topical solutions, aromatherapy, or homeopathic treatments of one type or another. Most agree that exercise is beneficial, both as a preventive measure and as a means of providing relief should vulvar varicosities appear. It goes without saying that the medical practitioner is the one who is in the best position to make recommendations on how to deal with this problem.