You may have plenty of symptoms tied to your menstrual period that already interfere with daily life for a few days each month. When leg veins begin to throb, too, a few days before your period, you have another distraction. However, it’s not your imagination. There are circumstances where hormones affect your veins, resulting in aching and throbbing.
Whenever you have an issue that might be related to vein performance anywhere in your body, a visit to MD Vein & Skin Specialists is a smart choice. Dr. Clement Banda and our team have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose and treat your condition. Here’s what you need to know about vein throbbing related to your period.
The power of progesterone
While estrogen takes most of the headlines as the primary female hormone, it’s not to blame for vein throbbing. Instead, it turns out that progesterone is the culprit. Its levels reach a peak just after the time of ovulation, about two weeks before menstruation starts. Your vein walls start to loosen due to this hormone surge, preparing them for the increased flow of blood.
While this additional capacity for blood supports some aspects of your menstrual cycle, it places strain on valves within your veins. The key role of veins is to return blood from the body to the heart and lungs for oxygen replenishment before being pumped back out.
A big challenge for the venous system is working against gravity, particularly up from the feet and legs. To assist the one-way movement of blood, your veins have valves that prevent the backward flow of blood when they’re working properly.
When progesterone relaxes vein walls, these valves may not close completely, permitting blood to pool. These conditions define varicose veins when the issue becomes chronic, and additional pressure from pooled blood stretches vein walls even further. It’s this straining that causes the throbbing, discomfort, and pain you experience.
Varicose vein treatments
The valves in your veins aren’t the only way your body ensures the forward movement of blood. The normal contractions of leg muscles as you walk or exercise create a pumping action that helps return blood to the heart. If you spend long hours standing or sitting because of work or hobbies, you add further strain on the valves.
Even if you haven’t yet seen evidence of varicose veins through the skin of your legs, you may be able to reduce the aches and throbbing you experience before your period by treating your legs as though you have varicosity. Indeed one is likely to have varicosities under the skin which are just not visible to the naked eye in this situation.
You can help support your venous valves using these strategies:
- Leg exercises: particularly those that focus on the calves
- Compression stockings: thigh-high garments that support your legs and veins
- Foods rich in flavonoids: including bell peppers, broccoli, onions, spinach, garlic, citrus
- Maintaining a healthy body mass
- Avoid wearing shoes with heels greater than 1.5 inches
Dr. Banda can help you further with minimally invasive varicose vein treatments if your condition warrants. Contact MD Vein & Skin Specialists online or by phone to arrange a consultation. You can ease the discomfort of throbbing veins, so book your appointment now.