The answer to this question is yes they do – but much less often than women do. It is estimated that 1 in 3 American women have varicose veins, but only 1 in 10 men do. So why are women more likely to have varicose veins?
What causes varicose veins?
In both men and women, varicose veins occur when blood doesn’t circulate properly in the legs. There are valves inside of veins, and if they break the blood and any waste products it is carrying doesn’t go toward your heart like it is supposed to. It starts pooling in the leg, causing varicose veins. Some people may have varicose veins but have no discomfort or pain at all, while others might have a constant aching pain.
Why do more women get varicose veins?
Women are more prone to varicose veins because of their hormones. For instance, progesterone, important for preparing the body for pregnancy, may fluctuate as a woman goes through life, which can cause vein walls to weaken and expand. The veins may expand too much and keep the valves from working properly, and blood begins to pool and veins to bulge.
Pregnancy can also cause varicose veins, and not just because it causes progesterone levels to increase. Besides hormone changes, a pregnant woman’s veins also has to deal with higher blood volume and pressure from the growing baby. Pregnancy varicose veins may get smaller or disappear after the baby is delivered.
Unfortunately, menopause (and its drop in hormone levels) doesn’t offer any relief! The lower progesterone and estrogen levels can also weaken vein walls. Low estrogen can also cause weight gain, which puts additional stress and pressure on the veins in the legs.
It may not seem fair that varicose veins are more common in women, but you don’t have to just accept them. Whether you are a man or a woman, if you have varicose veins Dr. Sammy A. Zakhary can help. There are very effective treatments available that can get rid of unsightly veins in as little as an hour! Call the office in Glendale, Arizona, at (623) 258-3255 for an appointment today!