Varicose veins: Men vs Women

March 31, 2021
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March 31, 2021 Dr Zil Yassine

Varicose veins are relatively common, affecting about a third of all adults. While most people think of twisted bulging veins discoloured and uncomfortable, there’s a lot more to them than just that. How likely you are to get them, the symptoms and any possible complications will vary from person to person. While there are a number of factors that influence varicose veins developing, one, in particular, has the most significant impact – gender. Let’s take a look at varicose veins and how they impact men vs women.

Are women more likely to get varicose veins?

Unfortunately for women, varicose veins are twice as likely to occur. This is primarily due to two hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Both are more common in women, particularly during pregnancy and adolescence. Among other things, these hormones can weaken vein walls stopping blood from circulating from the legs back up to the heart. If blood isn’t able to sufficiently flow, it begins to reflux or pool in the vein.

With men, varicose veins are often more serious

Men don’t necessarily get the better end of the deal; while they are less likely to develop varicose veins, there’s a higher chance that men will have a more serious case. In fact, studies show that 75 per cent of hospital admissions for varicose veins are men. While there’s no clear reason why, factors that can contribute include prolonged standing, alcohol, cultural norms (ignoring milder medical issues) as well as smoking, all of which are much more common in men.

Treatment of men vs women

Regardless of gender, the treatment options for varicose veins will remain the same. There are a number of ways that the symptoms can be managed naturally however if you wish to have the varicose veins completely gone then treatment is the only option.

Here are some options for managing and treating varicose veins:

Diet: cutting down on trans and saturated fats and eating more plant-based foods, especially berries, leafy greens, asparagus and apples will all help to boost your circulation and reduce the risk of clots, decrease swelling or inflammation around the veins. Lowering your alcohol intake also helps here.

Smoking: has a wide range of adverse health impacts, and your circulation and blood flow is a big one. Quitting smoking helps not only in lowering your risk of vein problems, but also gives you plenty of other health benefits.

Exercise: regular exercise helps to promote heart health and good circulation. Keeping fit not only helps to maintain a healthy weight (a key to good vein health) but it also keeps the muscles and veins in good shape.

Compression: those who are standing or sitting for an extended period of time (for example working in hospitality, retail or in an office) are at higher risk. By wearing medical-grade compression stockings, you can help regulate blood flow, reduce swelling and manage the symptoms associated with varicose veins.

Vein Treatment: all of these lifestyle changes can make a big difference in your comfort levels and general health. However, when it comes to varicose veins, you can’t treat them with lifestyle changes and with genetics being the primary cause of varicose veins, proper treatment is often the best solution.

Learn more: what happens if varicose veins are ignored?

Varicose Veins men vs women

Seek expert advice

The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive program using non-surgical laser treatment techniques. You can learn more in our Definitive Guide to Varicose Vein Treatment.

The benefits of non-surgical treatment are:

  • Walk-in walk-out treatment
  • 98% success rate
  • Extremely effective
  • Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
  • No general anaesthetic
  • Medicare rebates apply
  • No downtime or time away from work

Read more: Why are women at higher risk of varicose veins?

To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call  1300 981 402. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.