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pregnant woman sleeping on left side
When pregnant, sleeping on the left side may improve symptoms of vulvar varicosity.

Treatment usually focuses on managing symptoms at home, since vulvar varicosities typically go away within 1 month of giving birth.

Ways to prevent the veins from getting worse include:

  • avoiding sitting or standing for long periods
  • changing positions frequently
  • avoiding wearing high heels or any shoes that are uncomfortable and put pressure on the lower body
  • sleeping with the hips slightly elevated to prevent blood from pooling in the area
  • drinking plenty of water

Techniques for reducing pain include:

  • applying ice or heat to the area
  • wearing supportive pregnancy underwear, such as compression and support stockings
  • sleeping on the left side in pregnancy to place less pressure on the vena cava
  • taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as Naproxen

Doctors do not recommend removing vulvar varicosities during pregnancy since they usually go away on their own. If the veins do not disappear a few months after giving birth, surgical procedures can be used.

The two most common procedures are:

  • Vein embolization. This procedure uses a catheter to close damaged veins with a coil.
  • Sclerotherapy. This procedure involves injecting a solution into the vein that blocks blood flow, eliminating the pain and swelling.

Both procedures can usually be carried out on an outpatient basis under general anesthetic, which means the person will be asleep and will not feel any pain.

Diagnosis

Many women with vulvar varicosities have no symptoms other than swollen veins. A doctor will often be able to diagnose them with a simple visual examination.

Vulvar varicosities sometimes signal an underlying circulatory problem. A doctor may ask a person questions about their circulation, as well as if they have varicose veins elsewhere on the body.

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