You’re So Varicose Vein: 3 Unexpected Pregnancy Problems

While being pregnant is a joyful time, it can also wreak havoc on your body -- often in very unexpected ways. You may, for example, experience such surprising problems as trigger finger, varicose veins and pica. If you're a mom-to-be experiencing these problems, you probably have many questions, including why is this happening to you and what your treatment options may be. 

Trigger Finger

More than likely, you've heard the term "itchy trigger finger" before in reference to someone who is quick to shoot their gun. But there is also actually a condition known as stenosing tenosynovitis or trigger finger. If you get trigger finger, you will suddenly find it difficult to fully open the affected digit, which is usually the index finger. When your finger does finally open, it will do so with a snapping action.

Why It Happens

If you are pregnant and suddenly experiencing trigger finger, your condition is probably the result of hormonal changes. These changes can cause you to retain water and may also cause parts of your body, including your hands and fingers, to swell, which in turn could lead to trigger finger. 

Typically, your trigger finger condition will resolve once you are no longer pregnant. Before that point, however, you should:

  • Avoid opening and closing the affected digit as much as possible.
  • Apply ice to the affected digit.

If the condition persists after your pregnancy, you may need to see a doctor for a cortisone injection or a surgical procedure to release the swollen tendon that is causing your trigger finger condition.

Varicose Veins

Unsightly varicose veins are one of those unpleasant surprises you may encounter during your pregnancy. Your legs may have been smooth before your pregnancy, but now they are a patchwork of bump veins.  

Why It Happens

Your baby and growing uterus put a lot of pressure on the large vein that runs on the right side of your body, which then puts pressure on the veins in your leg. In addition, pregnancy hormones cause the walls of your blood vessels to relax. The combination of the two can result in unsightly varicose veins. 

Your varicose veins may improve once your pregnancy ends, but they may not disappear completely, especially if:

  • You've had more than one pregnancy
  • Your family has a history of varicose vein problems
  • You had a problem with varicose veins before your pregnancy
  • You are expecting multiples

If your varicose veins remain unsightly after your pregnancy, you should consult with a practitioner who specializes in this disorder such as Vein Clinic Of Las Vegas. After an evaluation, this physician can then discuss your various treatment options with you. And if the physician determines that your condition is compromising the blood circulation in your legs, your treatment may even be covered by your health insurance. 


Everyone jokes that pregnant women get strange cravings. But at least those most cravings belong to food groups. Some pregnant women have also been known to have strange non-food cravings. This condition is called pica. The most typical non-food craving that pregnant women experience is for dirt or chalk

Why It Happens

Unfortunately, the exact cause of pica is not known; although there is some speculation that it may be related to an iron deficiency or the body's way of obtaining missing vitamins or minerals. 

If you are experiencing pica symptoms, it is important that you:

  • Discuss your cravings with your physician. Don't be ashamed. It happens to a lot of women, and your doctor may be able to help you understand your cravings
  • Advise your friends and family so that they can help you resist the urge to eat non-food items

Fortunately, the end of your pregnancy typically also signals the end to most of these problems. So be patient and, hopefully, these conditions, too, will pass.