Varicose Veins and Flying While Pregnant

How Flying May Affect Pregnancy Veins

Many pregnant woman are concerned from flying complications of varicose veins. Many women suffer from varicose veins during pregnancy, and when they have to fly, some worry that the flight will cause complications to the varicosities veins.

You can read below about pregnancy varicose veins and flying, what you can do to minimize the risks nd side effects.

Pregnancy Veins Are Not DVT

Varicose veins are not DVT deep vein thrombosis. Though both are veins, and both have blood flow disorder the varicose veins are superficial veins, under the skin and they are thinner. Varicose veins pose no medical danger, except the varicose vein pains and the cosmetic discomfort.

Deep Vein Thrombosis also referred to as DVT is a blood clot that can happen in the ‘deep’ body veins which supply the blood to the thinner veins. The main danger from Deep Vein Thrombosis is when a blood clot (thrombus) breaks and flows toward the lungs.

There is a greater risk of an embolus (thrombus breaking away) when flying because of the long hours sitting down with no movement at the tight uncomfortable airplane seat.

What Causes Pregnancy Varicose Veins

Varicose veins appear during the pregnancy because:

  • The hormonal changes weakens the veins walls and valves.
  • The pregnant woman blood volume increases.
  • The fetus weight pressures the Vena Cava vein running from the legs to the heart.

Flying With Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

When a pregnant woman needs to fly, there are some things she might need to consider for her own safety and to comply with the airline regulations. When pregnant woman has DTV she might want to have a doctors approval of her flight, some airlines will request a doctor letter that the pregnant woman is healthy and fit to fly with them.

Regarding varicose veins during long haul flights the risks are similar to those of DVT. Sitting down during a trans-Atlantic flight can mean 6-9 hours of no movement to the feet, ankles and lower legs.

The stale position places more strain and weight on the buttocks pressing the inner Vena Cava vein. Varicose pains might increase during long international flights because of this.

Pregnant woman might suffer from vaginal varicose veins during their pregnancy, and such flights might worsen the uncomfortable feeling of the swelling vulva veins.

Pregnant Woman Flying With Varicose Veins

There are some tips you might want to remember if you have pregnancy veins and flying.

Pregnancy Varicose Veins and Flying
Compression Stocking For Varicose Veins

Before You Fly – You need to do pregnancy veins exercise before you fly (1-2 weeks prior to the flight). These pregnancy veins exercises such as walking, climbing stairs and cycling (try to maintain 30 minutes a day of exercises) to strengthen the veins and the blood circulation.

On The Day you Fly – Buy compression stocking or compression socks in advance (see some recommended one below). These are very helpful to keep pressure on the superficial veins. On the day you intend to fly, wear the compression stocking in the morning, just before you get of the bed.

It is important that it is done like this, because once you leave your bed and walk blood will begin to be pooling at the lower legs and the compression will not be as effective. Wearing the compression sock or stocking during the flight will help the body keep the veins from clogging and varicose veins ropes from appearing.

Get a pair compression stocking for the flight.

Get a Below Knee Open-Toe Compression Socks

On The Plane – Once you are on board, you may want to be familiarized with some pregnancy veins feet and ankles exercises. These feet and ankle exercises such as point and flex, feet rotation, and rubber band exercises will help the lower legs blood circulation which can prevent any worsening for the pregnancy varicose veins during the flight.

More Tips When Flying with Varicose Veins

  • Try to walk around the walkways during the long flight.
  • Do not sit with legs crossed.
  • Do not wear thigh belts or clothes.
  • Do not wear to the flight high heels.
  • Try to lie on your left side during your sleep.
  • Bend you knees once in a while.
  • Raise the feet when you can.


There is no direct medical danger to fly with varicose veins if you’re pregnant. The main aspect is that long flight can worsen the varicose vein situation and cause you even a greater discomfort once you land. The main things which will help you manage the flight, is to do exercise 30 minutes a day, a few weeks before, do exercise on the plane when sitting down. The most simple solution is to make sure you wear a compression stocking on the flight.

Have a safe trip! and don’t forget to Share this post..