5 Common Causes of Varicose Veins

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Your body contains a network of different veins. Superficial veins and the branches attached live close to the surface of the skin. Communicator or perforator veins are also considered superficial veins. They work to connect the superficial veins to the deep veins. Muscle and connective tissue surround deep veins, and help circulate blood back to your heart. Deep veins have one-way valves that help prevent the development of varicosities. When these valves become weak, blood collects in the veins making them swell. These are varicose veins.

The Five Most Common Causes of Varicose Veins Are:


With age, your veins gradually lose elasticity, and they stretch. This is when the one-way valves connecting deep and superficial veins fail causing blood to pool and veins to become larger.


While pregnant, your body is producing more blood. Except it is not sending as much blood through to your legs, resulting in poor recirculation of the blood in your legs. Changing hormones can also play a role in pregnancy induced varicose veins.

Prolonged Standing and Sitting

Both long periods of standing and sitting can result in varicose veins. By staying in the same position for an extended time, the blood in your legs has to work harder to recirculate. This can result in the weakening of the valves that are designed to send blood back to the heart.

Weight Gain

While weight gain itself is not a cause of varicose veins, being overweight may be. Carrying extra pounds puts additional pressure on your veins to circulate blood throughout your body.

Family History

You are at a higher risk for developing varicose veins if other members of your family also experience them. Furthermore, women are at a considerably higher risk of varicose veins resulting from hormonal changes, birth control pills, and/or hormone replacement therapy.


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