Q: I have vaginal varicose veins. What can be done about them?

A: Many women develop vulvar or vaginal varices during pregnancy. These can be very painful during pregnancy. They usually diminish after delivery, but can cause pelvic pain during menses, during or after intercourse (dyspareunia), or with prolonged standing for years afterward. These veins originate in the pelvis from refluxing ovarian veins and often contribute to varicose veins in the legs.

If you seek treatment for leg veins following pregnancy, tell your physician or ultrasonographer that you had vulvar varices. These can be treated, but may require embolization of the offending ovarian vein.

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