Varicose Vein Causes

Varicose veins are a common problem for women, but may also occur in some men. During the initial consultation, the vein specialist will carefully examine and diagnose the varicose vein problem. They will evaluate the patient’s medical and family history to determine the underlying cause of the occurrence of the diseased veins.

The patient should feel free to ask questions about varicose veins during the pre-op consultation and satisfy themselves completely before going ahead with the treatment. Board certified vascular surgeons Dr. Pushpinder Sivia and Dr. Son Ha Yu at the amazing and tranquil Desert Vein & Vascular Institute (DVVI) provide varicose vein treatment to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and La Quinta.

Potential Causes

Healthy veins work against gravity to return blood from the rest of the body to the heart. Muscle contractions in the lower legs act as pumps, and healthy vein walls help blood return to the heart. Small valves in the veins open as blood flows toward the heart, and then close to prevent its backward flow.

But as a person ages, the veins may tend to lose their natural elasticity, causing them to stretch. The valves in the veins may become weak, causing them to malfunction. Therefore, the blood that should flow toward the heart may begin to flow backward. The pool of blood in such diseased veins may cause the veins to enlarge and become varicose.

The deoxygenated blood in these veins gives them a blue or purple color. Therefore, aging could be one of the key causes behind the occurrence of varicose veins in some patients. Another important cause is pregnancy, when a woman may develop varicose veins.

The volume of blood in the body increases during pregnancy, but the blood flow from legs to the pelvis reduces. This circulatory change is designed to support the growing fetus, but it can produce an undesirable side effect in terms of varicose veins in the legs.

Varicose veins may occur for the first time or may become worse during late pregnancy when greater pressure is exerted on the veins in the legs from the uterus. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may also contribute to the occurrence of varicose veins.

Risk Factors

The risk of developing varicose veins will increase due to these factors:


Aging will lead to wear and tear of the vein valves, which can eventually cause the valves to malfunction. Some of the blood may flow back into the veins where it pools instead of going to the heart.


Women are at a higher risk of developing varicose veins. Pregnancy, hormonal fluctuations, premenstruation or menopause may be factors because female hormones tend to relax vein walls.

Family History

Heredity seems to play a role in the appearance of varicose veins. If some family members suffer from varicose veins, the risk of occurrence increases in others.


Extra pressure on the veins is exerted when a person is obese or overweight, contributing to varicose veins.

Experienced and pragmatic vein surgeons at DVVI receive patients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, La Quinta, and nearby areas for vein treatment.

For more information on vein disease, call the vein specialists at Desert Vein and Vascular Institute today at 1.800.VARICOSE to schedule an appointment.