The Risk of Varicose Veins While on Birth Control

The Risk of Varicose Veins While on Birth Control

Could your birth control method make you more likely to develop varicose veins? It’s possible, but probably not something you should worry too much about. 

Experts note that women are more likely to develop varicose veins, and women’s hormones may be the reason, because they cause vein walls to relax. Birth control pills, other hormone-based birth control methods, and hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk of developing varicose veins.

They may also make women more prone to developing blood clots, which is a more serious medical problem than varicose veins.

Does that mean you should abandon hormone-based birth control? 

Not necessarily. The risk of blood clots for young women is quite small—between 1 and 5 out of 10,000 will develop a clot in a given year. So even if the risk is 2-4 times greater for women on birth control pills, it’s still very low.

As far as varicose veins are concerned, other factors probably play a larger role in whether you develop them. Fluctuating hormone levels that occur naturally with pregnancy, premenstruation, and menopause can make varicose veins more likely even without birth control pills.

Other risk factors for developing varicose veins include:

  • Genetics. You’re more likely to have varicose veins if other members of your family have had them.
  • Age.The older you get, the more likely you are to develop varicose veins because the valves that help regulate blood flow in your legs begin to wear out as you age.
  • Pregnancy. Because the volume of blood circulating in your body increases when you’re pregnant, you may develop enlarged veins in your legs and other parts of your body during pregnancy. So skipping birth control altogether could actually raise your risk of developing varicose veins. 
  • Obesity. Carrying too much weight on your body puts pressure on your veins, raising your risk.
  • Lack of movement. If you have a job or lifestyle that requires you to stand or sit in the same position for long periods of time, you’re more likely to develop varicose veins.

If you’re worried about varicose veins or other venous disorders, please reach out to us. 

Talk to our team to learn more about the best conservative and interventional treatment options for your vein condition.

The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

For more information on vein diseases and the treatments provided by the specialists at Palm Vein Center or to make an appointment, call 623-201-4777. We look forward to meeting you!