Vulvar Varicosities

Pregnant woman with backache

I was in my second trimester when I could bear the discomfort no longer. “I’m feeling a lot of pressure,” I told my midwife at my appointment. “You know,” I said dramatically, “Down There.”

“Down there?” my midwife repeated. “You mean your perineum?”

I nodded. “It feels like down there might fall out! There’s so much pressure and everything’s swollen. That whole area could easily relocate to my knees.”

“It sounds like you have vulvar varicosities,” she replied matter-of-factly.

Huh.

Wait.

Did she say vulvar? The latent 13-year-old girl inside of me screamed, “Eww!”

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Lucky me. I had varicose veins in my vulva. My midwife explained the varicosities were caused by extra blood flow Down There as well as the pressure my growing uterus was putting on the area. Having varicose veins in my vulva was much like having hemorrhoids. It was the same thing, just one block over.

Unfortunately, there was no cure for vulvar varicosities. For temporary relief, my midwife suggested a vulvar supporter, thick elastic bands which I would wear over my panties to lift and support my perineum. I ordered one from a medical store online. (There was no way I was buying that thing in person.) It looked like a modified jock strap with a touch of lace to indicate which side to wear to the front. I stepped into it, trying in vain (ha ha) to see the supporter below my expanding baby bump.

Across the room my husband mumbled, “Sexy.”

I shot him a look that translated to “If you ever want to have sex again, you will shut up NOW.”

Wearing the supporter brought me physical relief, but I was an emotional mess over my predicament. I didn’t like having varicose veins in my vulva. What was I supposed to say when anyone asked how my pregnancy was going? “My vulvar varicosities are really uncomfortable today, but thank goodness for my vulvar supporter. What’s new with you?”

It turns out my midwife had suffered from vulvar varicosities during her pregnancy. She could relate to my discomfort and embarrassment. She assured me I was not alone and that other pregnant women were suffering, too.

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What other women? Besides me and my midwife, I knew no one with this problem. Pregnant women could discuss nausea and cravings as if they were badges of honor, yet no one talked about vulvar varicosities. Did Angelina Jolie suffer from vulvar varicosities? Beyoncé? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? I lumbered around in silence with thick elastic bands between my legs for the rest of my pregnancy.

After my daughter was born, the pressure subsided. My veins returned to their pre-pregnancy state by my 6-week postpartum checkup. The supporter soon became a distant memory.

Except sometimes I might ask a pregnant woman how she’s doing. The reply is usually “Fine” or “Ugh, morning sickness.”  I wonder, though, if maybe, just maybe she’s suffering from vulvar varicosities. I want to offer her support—or at least tell her where to buy a supporter.

About the writer

Katy jokingly calls herself an "Experienced" Bad Mom. That's because everything she's done wrong with her first child, she's done wrong with her second child as well! She embraces her imperfections and shares them on her blog, Experienced Bad Mom. Come laugh with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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Angela 11 hours ago

It felt like a big cluster of hot grapes dangling down there. Three pregnancies and I couldn’t explain to anyone my private misery. They usually appeared just as the weeks of vomiting ended. I didn’t know about the support, I just sat on ice packs every few hours – hiding blue ice anywhere I might sit down at work. Thanks for sharing.

Meredith 4 months ago

I have this right now. It’s five thirty in the morning and I just had to hold myself to walk downstairs to let the dog out. The pain was so bad. Sitting isn’t so bad, but I needed to know what the hell was going on. So thank you, for telling your story. I’m of course overjoyed to say I have varicose veins in my vulva and that’s why I’m walking like a just took a punters kick to the crotch.

HT 4 months ago

I have a daughter and didn’t have it with her but now that I am 23 weeks pregnant with my twin boys I don’t have pain down there but noticed a small tiny bump and was like what! And I noticed it’s a vein and just researched and found your article, I just hope I don’t get in pain like you but having twins it might b starting!

Regula 4 months ago

I m at week 10 of my second pregnancy and the vv started to pop up more than a week ago already. In the exact same spot then during my first pregnancy only about 15 weeks earlier.

Marce 4 months ago

I’ve been searching for info on this since my last baby. Now with my third – the V.V. showed up even earlier – with a vengeance! I’ve been walking around at work with a ice pack between my legs because of the horrible itchiness. The doctor kept suggesting I had an STD – thanks for the vote of confidence there, doc.

Susanna 4 months ago

Oh my word! You described my condition exactly!!! Down to the emotional part of it- I’ve never minded stretch marks or feeling huge- but this!!!! My hemmorhoids were more painful but they were hidden- this can be seen in a bathing suit and by myself and my hubby and it is just ugly! Trying to laugh about it but it’s hard.

Maz 5 months ago

This made me LOL about an issue I just got diagnosed for! Thanks so much for writing about this embarrassing and uncomfortable condition in a light-hearted way… I’ve been feeling the pressure down there for some time and recently noticed horrible looking bumps in my vulva.. I’m in my 8th month.. I thought I had vaginal warts and was scared as hell! Turns out its vulvar varicositues.. Would have never known about the support belt so ordering that today.. Hopefully it will provide some comfort!

Carrie 5 months ago

So where did you order the right supports for these lovely varicosities? Apparently I’m in the market.

Aimee 6 months ago

Oh thank heavens I read this. 3rd pregnancy, never had this issue before. 16 weeks along and I’m like…uh…wtf is going on down there?! I told my husband and he just stared at me. I swear I heard crickets. So I vowed to never terrify anyone again with my ailment. If it’s only going to get worse the bigger the baby gets, I think I better invest in a V2. Or I might be walking bowlegged by the end of it. Thank you so much for writing about this.

carolyn 6 months ago

did you girls still try it on in the bedroom? My husband might be grossed out by them and not want to come near me but also I’m worried that it might hurt. (a lot!)

Mandy 7 months ago

I’m so happy I came across this. Also comforted to know it went back to the pre pregnancy state, as trivial as it is it’s a nice positive thought considering it’s such a pain (emotionally and physically) right now.

tamma 7 months ago

I thought I was the only one!!! I stumbled across this while googlin how to get rid of them haha. I swear they hurt worse than labor some days. You are/were not alone, but until now I thought I was ha. Definitely wish more woman talked (warned me) about these.

Alex 8 months ago

I am one of the ‘internet searches in years to come’ – just discovered these HORRIFYING ‘things’ down there last night! Just about had a heart attack and googled my heart out. Glad to know I’m NOT dying and very pleased to feel a bit more normal. It would never have occurred to me that you could have varicose veins in your vulva. The mind boggles. Thank you for lightening my mood about it all :)

helen 9 months ago

Thanks for giving me a laugh. I am in my third pregnancy and have this problem for the first time. I had never heard of it before, either. Thanks again.

Melanie 9 months ago

I literally just went through this same thing today with my OB/GYN. I DID buy my lady jock in person (shameful) and laughed with the sales lady at the fancy lace applique (do they think that makes it less jock-like?). Vulvar varicosities are no joke though and I’m glad to have a name and a belt to assign to my pain. Anyway, when I googled it, I found your post. I was hoping someone out there would have a solution (compression panties?) that presents less of a panty line. Thanks for sharing. Let me know if there are other options cyber-friends.

Jami 9 months ago

Been there done that. It was really bad with my 4th pregnancy. I had said something to my MIL apt it and of course she mentioned it to her sisters! Who asked me in subsequent pregnancies about it. Now on my 10 th pregnancy and i can tell you from experience that: 1. each pregnancy is different and the vjayjay swelling is different with each one. 2. You will probably have plenty of vein issues on your legs as well. 3. Although you look like elephant man down there during your pregnancy it will get better after. 4.try laying down now often (haha If you have other kids yeah right). Ice packs actually help relieve some discomfort.

Erin 10 months ago

Thanks for posting. I am 17 weeks with my 3rd pregnancy and my embarrassing pressure points are already beginning to rear their ugly heads. There is a lot of pressure and pain in the whole general yet tiny vicinity. (Any one know the name of the muscles around there that are killing me? My google image search of the pelvic floor muscles is not quite answering the question). I will probably buy a V2 belt, but I was wondering if you also used any other maternity support belts? It seems like a good idea to lift up the belly to relieve the pressure. Curious if anyone has any reviews on using these or both products at once before I spend the $$. I have pregnancy compression tights but man, those are tough to put on. Thanks so much.

kaili 11 months ago

Does the supporter help im in so much pain.. im already wearing a belly support in hopes to feel better

Marceli 12 months ago

I have it (22 weeks now), and had it from early on in my pregnancy. I read a lot about it and it baffles me women saying they are embarrassed… Of what? It is my body, it is painful and unfortunate, but embarrassing? I did not steal anything, I did not do anything wrong. I tell everyone and because of that someone told me about the support. Now I pass it on in the hopes it will help another woman. I will never, I refuse to be ashamed of my body!

Caryn 12 months ago

Thanks for posting. Women don’t talk about this at all! Finally I opened up to a colleague and she too admitted to having them during her pregnancies. I will never forget the first time I discovered them while showering. I felt something bulging out down there, so I panicked and I thought “OMG, the umbilical chord is falling out!” lol. After taking a closer look and doing some research I figured out my fate. Now, pregnant with my second, they are back with a vengance and a lot more painful and prominent early on. I am going to look into this supporter device you mentioned. Anything is worth trying to relieve the physical dicomfort. Thanks for sharing!

Megan 1 year ago

I was told at one point it was a swollen gland….but it got bigger and I was deathly afraid I was gonna have to have surgery…then today my reg OB told me the real deal and told me I HAVE that too……im like for real? You can get those there?? I already have it bad on my calves…. so they have me on support hose….and I really hope it helps because I’m 24 weeks pregnant and this is getting seriously uncomfortable.

Kim Brooks 1 year ago

Your post made me laugh out loud!! I’m pregnant with my 5th child. First time, no vv’s. Second time showed up at 7 mths, but thankfully my OB told me where to buy a supporter. Third time showed up at 5 mths. Fourth time showed up at 4 mths. This time I went looking for my supporter as soon as the pregnancy test came up positive. With the fourth pregnancy, I couldn’t find my supporter so actually wore my old bikini bottoms over my panties for a few months until I did find it! I’ve told close friends about this problem, but normally I just say I can’t stand for long periods of time. Loved your paragraph on how to bring them up in conversation (“My vulvar varicosities are really uncomfortable today, but thank goodness for my vulvar supporter. What’s new with you?”) Might just have to say that sometime!!!

Brenna 1 year ago

This is the most helpful thing I have read. Thank you! I’m currently in my first pregnancy and when I brought up the pain to my doctor around 12 weeks he said to get a belly band because of the pressure of the baby was causing it, but he hadn’t seen it that early before. Finally at my last check up (17weeks) I saw a different ob and brought it up again in a the only way I could explain the pain being that someone has punched me about 50 times down there, and he said it was vv but I was so taken back I didn’t know what to ask.

Now a day later all the questions are flooding, and I’m scared I’m going to be waddling for the next 5 months. There’s the supporter like you mentioned but is there anything else I can do? I’m a pretty active person and this is really putting a damper on things.

LOLSteph 1 year ago

I have not lauded this hard in a long long time….tearing up i was laughing so hard. Hilarious. I had this with my first pregnancy with twins…was hoping not to have it with second pregnancy…well so much for that. I’m only 12 weeks today and it’s on! I am really glad I found this blog and all of the posts because I definitely felt strange and alone with all of this last time. I was lucky that my OB did figure out what it was after I came back to her complain for a second time…she told me about the V2 supporter which i bought …it made a HUGE difference…the timing of reading this post is perfect…i was just going through all of my maternity clothes and was wondering why i had chosen to wear so many loose pants and skirts….and now i remember…can’t exactly where the V2 supporter with anything snug….terribly uncomfortable….Thanks for sharing this with the world…until 30 minutes ago, i knew NO ONE who had had this…i described it to my mother as what it must feel like to walk around with a penis tucked back up between my legs…LOL and have it be very very painful. That’s how swollen i felt. it was awful. Good luck to all. And I do vouch for the V2 supporter…and now based on another post will try the maternity SPANX.

Happyjen 1 year ago

Oh dude…it’s so bad. I walked 2 hours a day with my first child and felt mostly fantastic through my first pregnancy. Second one is killing me! I can hardly walk…and am regretting the move into the bi-level split because stairs are a nightmare! My V2 better come soon!! Ready to drive to Mississippi myself! You guys aren’t suffering alone and pretty much everyone says it goes away after, so there’s hope! In the meantime, anyone have any tips for exercise? Between not being able to move the bottom half and heartburn in the upper half…and yet you’re told it gets worse if you gain too much weight…what’s a girl to do?

Julie 1 year ago

Oh my))) Ladies, you’re awesome. I had some good laugh here. But also – thanks a lot for sharing, good to know I’m not alone with “this” and that hopefully it should be gone after a while.
Ehh, tomorrow I have an appointment and will need to discuss it somehow with my doctor, (and of course, he’s male :( ). So embarassing, but I’ll have to. Thanks again, this post and the comments gave me some courage I needed.
Take care 😉

Kelli Korn 1 year ago

Thank you for this! This has been a rough pregnancy and I know it's just a blip in time. I didn't experience all of this with my first pregnancy and it makes me feel sooooo unattractive, as if I needed help to feel gross. Encouraging to know I may go back to normal after this baby comes!

Dr Farhy 2 years ago

It is interesting that there are no more post of mothers commenting what happens six to eight weeks after delivery. Certainly most of those vulvar varicosities will resolve after delivery, however many women will continue to experience vulvar varicosities after delivery. They are smaller and less uncomfortable but they can become larger again with the next pregnancy or during the days before the menstruation.
Fortunately there is a solution. Most of those vulvar varicosities can be treated with sclerotherapy with very good results. Certainly NOT during the pregnancy, but it is absolutely safe to do it after the pregnancy. It can certainly help to prevent more problems with the subsequent pregnancies.
We have helped many mothers like you with minimal discomfort and great success.

Susan M. Garcia 2 years ago

Love you mi estrellita.

leigirl7 2 years ago

Im dying!! Laughing so hard! I agree….if they only knew what their vajayjay could possibly look like Im pretty sure that would make em’ cross their legs!

Melissa Keinan 2 years ago

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR POST!!! I spoke w my midwife today and have been in tears on and off all day (not to mention physical pain!) Your post provided some info and much needed support :)

Stephanie Abdul 2 years ago

I have this problem as well and had it with my last pregnancy 4 years ago. Somehow my husband is still attracted to me. My vagina looks like it belongs to an elderly woman :(

Harriet 2 years ago

Thank you so much ladies for sharing. Was beginning to feel like a total freak as people just don’t seem to talk about this hideousness in person! Am a fellow sufferer with my second pregnancy from 25 weeks onwards, nothing of the sort with my first. Have been feeling pressure since early on but now have full on ‘pant snakes’ going on and can only dread it getting worse with 2 and a half months still to go. Sex is definitely with the lights off – no way I’m letting my boyfriend see these beauties! Only consolation is that my boyfriend is being very understanding and doing most of the cooking and washing up so I can stay off my feet when he’s home on the evening. Some great posts, thank you, at least I’m smiling about my badge of honour now :)

E 2 years ago

Hilarious post! As a student midwife I think I’ll starting asking at prenatals — “so how is your vulva today?”

Mara Frazier 2 years ago

Praying for you sweet Iris!

Mariana Quin 2 years ago

Espero estés bien. Saludes

Juliette Rossi 2 years ago

No worries prima you and the baby will be fine trust me I been there to manny times just relax stress is not good for the baby.

Doris Mason 2 years ago

Bless you, Iris. May God grant the desire of your heart for a beautiful, healthy new baby.

Iris Doster 2 years ago

I've been having the pressure pain for the past month. I had a meltdown two nights ago because I was in a lot of pain and worry about the baby. This is my third prego, had two miscarriages last year, so every I have some discomfort I get nervous. I feel so much better after reading your post. It didnt only give me some peace of mind but it also made me laugh! :) God Bless!!!

Denise Page Neilson 2 years ago

Thanks for your honesty! I was thinking the exact thing about what to say to people when they ask how the pregnancy is going. Can't wait to get some of those elastic band things….

Bec 2 years ago

I found out at 28 weeks with my first what had been causing the pain for the last 6 weeks.. They came back at 18 with my second, who is now 6.5 and they still play up most months. Looking into getting rid of them now somehow.

Tina 2 years ago

I think i have that! Had it My second pregnancy as well. I keep telling my dr about this horrible pain…like someone kicking the hell out of me down there swollen kinda pain. She’s never had anything to say but “baby weight, and body preparing” last night i noticed puffy veins slightly inside and out. Still have 8 weeks of this to go…:-(

Camille 2 years ago

I’m game!!!

Camille 2 years ago

Glad to know this condition is real!

Camille 2 years ago

I am 2 years post-partum and I still deal with vericose issues in my vulva region! My bladder is still a mess, and my vericose veins on my legs resemble tiger stripes!!! My big boy rode low during his 9 month stay and kicked the hell out of my bladder! I deserve a Purple Heart!

Nina 2 years ago

Thanks for posting this. I’m having the same problem. It started in my 2nd trimester, with pressure, like something was going to fall out. Now, as I approach the end of my pregnancy, I wake up every morning feeling like someone hit me in the crotch with a two by four the night before. Miserable. I’m ordering some rubber bands right now!

Erin 2 years ago

I’m reading this quite some time after you posted, but so glad to have found it.

I’m 37 wks with my 6th child. I’ve had VV with the last 4, each time beginning sooner in the pregnancy. Currently, it’s been since 8 wks along. Ice grown accustomed to feeling as though I’m falling out of myself. The supporter did work to a degree-better than nothing.

Funniest part if my circumstance is I’ve never looked or shown my husband. I’m mortified by the entire thing but I actually looked today. Talk about deformed…My prayer is that I’m blessed to have them go away upon labor like before but I will consider some serious surgery if that doesn’t happen. Blows my mind what our bodies go through.

Thank you for the post. It felt great to laugh out loud about it and get over myself. Misery does love company.

Chell Phoenix VoidRay 2 years ago

Yup, had these my 2nd pregnancy, and they're back again for my third! Not so fun 😛

Samantha Samantha Samantha 2 years ago

Were you able to have a vaginal delivery?

Mollie Friedman 2 years ago

Hahaha! I am suffering from them and they are horrendous on so many levels. Thanks for making me laugh aloud :)

smileitsez10952 2 years ago

I know one thing….with all the problem that I have had with these veins with each of my pregnancies, when I hold my newborn baby it is all worthwhile. I know that I found a product on the web. A company called FEMBRACE has a V-Brace that gives extra support both during and after pregnancy. I has gone through three pregnancies with me.
I would suggest it to anyone.
Good luck to all.

Teegs 2 years ago

I have been suffering from these too, it is awful and so embarrassing to discuss, even with my midwife. I’m so glad I found this article, it made me laugh until I had tears! It’s nice to know me and my achy crotch are not alone.

Ac 2 years ago

I suffered severely from these as well with pregnancy #3. I found Maternity SPANX to be my life saver. I had to put them on in the bed before I stood up every morning. Helped tons. Everything shrunk back where it was supposed to go. (For the most part) ha.

Beth 2 years ago

Thank you!!!!
I have been suffering for weeks….now a supporter is in the mail.

AngieH 2 years ago

I just self- diagnosed my VV. I am 36 weeks and this one time I actually didn’t mind peeing my pants while laughing and reading this! I have never heard of any friends having this issue. No one warned me. I cannot imagine doing this again. Ever. Pain. Is. Too. Much.

Virgil 2 years ago

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Jenni 2 years ago

I developed vulvar varices (or a “BlueGina” or “Pant Snakes” as my husband so kindly calls them) with my first pregnancy, but they didn’t start until around 5 months. The pain was bad but I only dealt with it for 4 months. This second pregnancy that I currently enduring, the dreaded things came at 10 weeks! I asked my midwife and she said that they will be 10 times worse with the second and third pregnancies. The pain is excruciating! I was able to score some lidocaine jelly from a doctor I work with that helps a little bit. I am definitely going to look into the supporter since I have 7 more months of this. Thanks for the post. I’m glad I’m not the only one out there with this!

Ash 2 years ago

I had varicose vein in my left leg and vaginal when I was pregnant. Now after 8 months after delivery I feel it return. During my periods times especially its as bad as it was during pregnancy. Any thoughts or tips on how to deal with it?

Elaine 2 years ago

Makers of soft orthopedic goods have produced a product that dramatically eases the pain and swelling associated with vulvar varicosities. One that I’ve heard rave reviews about it called the V2 Supporter. It’s made in the USA by a company based out of Michigan.

Kaely 2 years ago

I have to say i DIED laughing at this part of your post:

“What was I supposed to say when anyone asked how my pregnancy was going? “My vulvar varicosities are really uncomfortable today, but thank goodness for my vulvar supporter. What’s new with you?”

Lol. I had these with my 2nd pregnancy at the end and now I have then (at only 13 weeks) with my 3rd. They are NOT fun, and I also try to talk to my pregnant friends about them so they’re not in the dark as well.

I never knew about the supporter and I’m definitely looking into that with my 30+ weeks of pregnancy looming ahead.

Jen brooks 2 years ago

I volunteer mine, as long as they don’t need a headshot, too.

Rachelle 2 years ago

It also may be worth mentioning your your readers that there is a natural herb you can take, that helps. It’s called butchers broom, it’s not too expensive and you take 2, 2X a day. I have noticed a small difference since starting them. (any difference helps)

Rachelle 2 years ago

yes, intamacy was out of the question for me by the 5th month of my 3rd pregnancy. I took it as long as I could but I endured pain during, and the next day so I called it off till after delivery. I am 17 weeks pregnant with #4 and I’m already almost to that point. They usually get worse with each pregnancy! :(

Rachelle 2 years ago

I am on my 4th pregnancy, 3rd pregnancy with VV. With my first 2nd daughter they first showed up at about 5 months, only got to be about pea sized by delivery but OH so painful, and my pubic bone felt bruised especially first thing a.m. Fortunately my OB knew right away what it is, but had no good news for me! :( With my son, 3 years later, I started feeling the bruised pubic bone about 2.5 months in, and I knew I’d be in trouble. Sure enough they got to be so big they overtook the whole reigon. I scared doctors and nurses, not that I didn’t warn them. hah now we’re on to pregnancy #4, only 17 weeks in, but already miserable most of the time. I’m going to look up the support. I’ve talked to numerous doctors nurses ect. and no one has had any info on relief. I could really use it, with 3 children, and babysitting, and gardening coming up, I really don’t have time to sit around nursing VV!

Angie @ Pint of Goals 2 years ago

Thanks for writing about this. I am also suffering from vaginal varicose veins, but before an ultrasound showed my discomfort was from veins, both my doctor and a hernia surgeon thought it was a hernia that hadn’t pushed through the layer of fascia. I was relieved to find out I didn’t need to have surgery. And I completely agree about women not talking about it – I’ve probably been more open about it with my friends and coworkers than most women are :) People need to know this stuff happens!

Sarah 2 years ago

At 30 weeks and have these along with tiny little black dots that look like blood blisters. Doctor said to just be careful and not scratch them, or they will bleed! This is my second and didn’t have any of this with the first! I’m a teacher so I’m on my feet all day. Going to check into the support thing!

Monika 2 years ago

I got vulvar varicosities with my third pregnancy. They were so painful, but I did get the V2 supporter, which helped. I had varicose veins in my legs too. So they ran all the way from my vulva down. If I would have sex with my husband, I was in such extreme pain the next day (even with the V2) that I could hardly even stand or walk around. The pain would just shoot all the way down my legs. The varicosities were so horrible that they were one of the deciding factors in my decision not to have any more children. However, now three years later I am unexpectedly pregnant again, and I’m still early enough on that the VV aren’t bothering me yet (instead it’s constant nausea), but I know it’s coming…and I am not looking forward to it! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who suffers with these, because when I mentioned them to some other moms I know, I got a lot of strange looks and one said, “What is that? I’ve never heard of that.” I just said, “Basically, they’re varicose veins in your vulva,” and they were ready to change the subject. :) Misery loves company, though, so thanks for this post.

Erin 3 years ago

I’m 33 weeks into my third pregnancy and have them for the third time. I found them when I was about 5 months pregnant with my first. Was just putting on lotion after a shower and happened to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I screamed, grabbed my laptop and locked myself in my room, crying and googling “5 months pregnant and vagina has exploded and/or turned inside out” with my husband standing outside the door asking me if everything was okay and should he call the doctor. I ordered the V2 belt which provided some relief, but at this point in pregnancy, it’s a choice between painful veins and having that belt press on my bladder all day. Oh, and the attractive strap marks going up each butt-cheek that are plainly visible even under jeans. Thankfully they disappear after giving birth and my husband is sympathetic to my “I will do you the favor of not showing you why, but trust me, do not touch me from 12 weeks pregnant to 6 weeks postpartum” policy.

Laura 3 years ago

I experienced this as well, and my OB suggested the support belt worn with two overnight maxi pads, which was a joke. I was also experiencing terrible back pain, so went to a massage therapist who did a lymphatic massage. Within the day, they were better, but after five days they started back again. I went back for the massage again the next week, and they went away, and I kept going through my whole pregnancy and they were gone until I delivered. I think it must have been the improved circulation. She massaged my arms, legs, back, and neck. It really worked for me.

Ann 3 years ago

I’ve been laughing hysterically reading this post and the comments! I had this problem in my 2nd pregnancy, the midwife could not offer any helpful suggestions. Now it’s 3rd pregnancy, and it started again at 16 weeks. Fortunately this time a different midwife suggested getting “support” underwear to put pressure on it — but looking on Amazon, I think the V2 Supporter sounds like it would be more effective. My 6-yr-old son caught me looking at it online, and he started saying “My mom’s going to wear a Sumo wrestler belt!!” over and over… which only added to my laughing at your post…

GCP 3 years ago

I think I have fairly mild VV. My question – do the veins itch? Because the itchiness is my biggest annoyance. Once I was scratching and was like, oh shit, that’s a bump, so I got out the mirror and was like, oh wait, that’s just a big vein. I told my Dr it felt like my PF muscles were swollen and going to fall out and he just told me to do kegels. I only know what VV is called enough to google it (you came up first) because my midwife was filling out an order form for a maternity support belt and I saw it listed as a condition you could order something for. She told me the VV belt was like a cross between a thong and a jock strap. For me the pressure is really only bad when I stand up from laying down, all the blood flow returns and it’s just like OW! Sometimes I just try to massage the muscles and push them back to where they’re supposed to be.
Glad to hear it should go away after delivery (I’m at 31 weeks)

So – itchy veins?

Karen 3 years ago

Thank you so much for your post- loved to laugh about such an embarrassing and annoying issue. :)

Kel 3 years ago

Thank you for this funny version of what I experienced during my second pregnancy (beginning month 5) and now for my third pregnancy (month 3). People think I am crazy for sharing my story but I don’t want others to feel they are the only ones. I am taking your advice and buying that support thing! I never knew about it and there is no way I can go through another 6 months with this discomfort! It’s never fun to feel like your nether regions are going to fall out at any given moment….good luck ladies!

kelly 3 years ago

I have Varicose veins so bad in my vagina. I have been put on bed rest, they are so terriable! I have to walk around with ice packs on. It is so uncomfortable, my Dr. told me thats the worest ones shes ever seen before. Im only 21 and this is my second child, I do not know if I’ll ever do this again!
The pain is so intense!

heather g 3 years ago

I’m so glad that I found your post. I’m pregnant with #4 and this has been the toughest pregnancy yet. I know that sleep deprivation awaits me, but frankly puking and VV seem worse than sleep deprivation. Ugh. I’ve had the varicose veins on my thigh and calf this time that have gotten pretty ugly, but just in the past few days I’ve felt the increasing pressure and pain down “there.” My google search did bring up lots of articles, but your post has been my favorite. Pregnancy is so UN-glamorous!

remedies for hemorrhoids 3 years ago

Today, I went to the beachfront with my kids. I found a sea
shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell
someone!

Melissa 3 years ago

Thank you, thank you for discussing this topic. I’m 16 weeks pregnant and last week, the “pressure” started. I discussed it with my doc and he asked if I had varicose veins. I said no because never had them before, why would I have them now. So uneducated! I finally had a chance to glance “down there” and sure enough, big, bulging veins!!! OMG! Went back in for doc to take a look…and yep, VV. Ok, kind of knew that. And no helpful advice or suggestions for what to do. Lots of not a lot. So, upon finding this blog, I read and was so relieved to know I’m not the only one. This is my second pregnancy and I’m not about to be knocked down by this annoyingly uncomfortable condition. And, I refuse to say its because I’m 37 and having kids later in life. So, I took a trip to Amazon and ordered myself some support. I’m an active mom, like all the other moms out there and have stuff to do! Thanks again and sure hope my cute little supporter gets here quick!

Angie 3 years ago

I had this with my 2nd & 3rd pregnancies. The V2 cradle was a life saver. I affectionately called it my “va-jay-jay holder.” I imagined that is what it must feel like to have blue balls. Lol. Am now pregnant again and am just waiting for the pressure to begin.

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Thank you for your compliments, Christina. And sooo happy you best cancer! Best wishes.

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

I’m glad you chuckled. Really, it makes it sort of better to be able to laugh about it! And you’re so right about wanting to get the word out about this. Until I posted this guest post, I really did feel alone with this problem. Take care!

christina 3 years ago

omg,kathy,i’m way past having children,but i did have cancer during my second pregnacy,if it counts for anything,she is now 25 an as of the end of july i’ve been 25yrs cancer free,yay, i love the story,an the info,i have young cousins an nephews plus the daughters of my own,having children an i’m going to send these pages to a midwife i know in kansas,i think we all can benifit from this,thank you so very much,your writing is great,such a wonderful introduction to the subject.

Clayre 3 years ago

OH my gosh I chuckled when I found this! I gave birth a couple of weeks ago and suffered from this practically the whole pregnancy. I kept telling my midwife and she never really addressed it! I finally googled it and ohmygosh message boards were flooded with woman trying to figure out what was going on down there! I feel like I need to educate every lady I meet about this potential pregnancy problem so they won’t feel embarrassed or scared if it happens to them :)

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

It’s just crazy what can go on Down There. And, yes, I personally prefer to call it Down There rather than ladybits, hoo-hah, vulvar area, or perineum. :)

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

It just always felt like the baby was going to fall out. Always. Not terribly painful, just uncomfortable and…well, weird!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Thanks, Linda!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Wow. An OB who uses “hoo-hah”. I didn’t know that was the technical term, either!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

I’ll try calling Angie and see if she’ll answer what craziness she endured when pregnant…I’ll get back to you when I hear!

Gold star for enduring uterine prolapse, btw.

Natalie 3 years ago

You are hysterical. I think I had a milder case of the VV in the last trimesters with 3 kids. With the first kid I had preeclampsia and didn’t gain hardly any weight to feel pressure. So, with the full term kids I did feel like my Down there :) parts were swollen and just crampy sort of like, esp after well, you know, the fun part of marriage. The pain actually went down my inner thighs and legs. But I didn’t know there was an actual diagnosis! WOW! I do have hemorrhoids though :( Painful, very painful, after each vaginal delivery :(

Mel 3 years ago

Ouch! That sounds so painful. I hadn’t heard of those before but I sure had the hemmorhoids and if it is like those I know it was a killer!

Linda Kinsman 3 years ago

Oh my! That’s some kind of situation there Katy. One I’ve never heard of either. So glad you can write about it with such witty style now.

Lynn 3 years ago

Huh. I had that same uncomfortable pressure, but when I mentioned it to my OB, all she said was, “So, your hoo-hah hurts? Let’s get it checked out and make sure your hoo-hah is ok.”

When I gave my oldest “THE TALK”, I was quite tempted to use “hoo-hah”, since it’s apparently a technical term…

Alisa Rock 3 years ago

Hmmm. I did not have the vulvar whateveryoucallit. My cervix, however, DID try to exit my vagina about two weeks post birth of my second child. Uterine prolapse. Never knew such a thing existed. I still brag to my friends that I saw my own cervix, beat THAT bitches.

Angelina Jolie does say her twins were very hard on her body and that she wouldn’t have more biological children. But who knows. She won’t return my phone calls.

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Like I said to the Bargain Babe, laughing with me about it really does make it better somehow!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Laugh with me, it makes it all better!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

More weirdness from yet more doctors–so right that compression stockings would not help you-know-where!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

I hope you were dying with laughter! :) Will drop by to check out the Angelina post.

Elizabeth@Transitional-Woman 3 years ago

I’ve never heard of this particular condition, nor suffered from it during my four pregnancies, so I felt realllly guilty for laughing when I read about your “delicate” problem.

TheBargainBabe 3 years ago

So funny! Uh I mean I am laughing WITH you. I’ve had bizarre pregnancy symptoms in the three times I’ve been preggo but never had the vulvar varicosities.

Hell no 3 years ago

Been there. Done that. Never the fxxk again. They were trying to get me to wear compression stockings. Not sure how that was going to help my vajayjay.

Kristen Mae 3 years ago

Oh my God I’m DYING! PRAISE JESUS that I didn’t have that!!! Actually, wait. Maybe I did… and my doc didn’t feel the need to point it out? I definitely had some weird bulbus thingy Down There towards the end. I thought it was a vaginal prolapse (which I think would suck far more than vulvawatchamacallit.)

Why is it that Angelina Jolie always comes up when we complain about the ugly side of pregnancy? I wrote a whole damn blog post about it several months ago! It’s actually called “Angelina Jolie is Not Real.”
:)

Kristen Mae 3 years ago

LMAO!!!! YES!!!!!

June O’Hara 3 years ago

I thought it might. (Yes, I played the maxi-incident card.)

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

I had to Google “tamarind”! :) And I’m starting to get mad on everyone’s behalf that so many (male) doctors are clueless about this pregnancy side effect. Thank goodness my midwife knew what it was just from me describing the feeling of so much pressure. Sorry your doc and colleagues were such dufuses/dufi.

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Thanks, Lynden!!

Luxxi90 3 years ago

OH MY!! Nearly 5 years later I learn the name of my diagnosis! I had terrible vulvar varicosities with my first. It was as though a tamarind had moved into my perineum. By the end of my second trimester it was so huge that I could not sit down properly, had to do sit leaning on one hip. By the end of the pregnancy I was so tired of the constant ache from it and worried sick about what would happen to all that distended skin during and after birth. Well the thing recided internally after a couple of months. But it left in its wake a pretty big flap of skin on one side that I had surgically removed just this Spring. Ahh, the joys of motherhood. And here I thought I was the only one. Well, the doc made me feel that way since neither him nor any of the 4 colleagues he brought into my room one day to show knew what was wrong with me down there. *smashes head on keyboard*

Lynden 3 years ago

Ohhhh, Katy!! I am laughing so hard I’m coughing – between your as-always-hilarious post and the equally-as-hilarious Comments! I’m way past all of this – and was quite fortunate to have had NO problems with pregnancy or delivery (don’t hate me!), but thoroughly enjoyed your ‘take’ on this… 😉

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Absolutely! I’m “cured” though so someone else will need to step up for the photo session. :)

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

You’re not alone! Take care. :)

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Wow! If there was a VV prize, I think you’d win it. I only suffered with my second pregnancy.

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Perfect! :)

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Totally counts. You get a double fist pump for that one!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

I know, I’m totally sad that so many ladies got shut out by their doctors when they were suffering. I’m thankful my midwife knew what it was and helped.

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

I’m so honored (?!) that women are talking about the “VV” here. Besides my midwife, I never heard of anyone having these suckers before. Yes, in internet searches in years to come, I hope women find this and realize there’s something that can help.

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Happened with the second child only. So I can only hold it over her head. :)

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

“You better listen to me… I suffered vulvar varicosities during my pregnancy with you!” — Awesome. Just awesome!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Yes! I got the ULTIMATE badge of honor!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Those are some big babies! My vote is it was them.

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

What’s ironic is that I have now told the whole world, but I don’t think my mother reads blogs, so she’s still in the dark. :)

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Ha! Well put.

The Mommy Psychologist 3 years ago

They need to show this in health classes to teenage girls. With pics. I mean, you wouldn’t have to submit a pic of your vajajay, but ya know…a pic of someone’s. It might help decrease teenage pregnancy.

Amy 3 years ago

So glad to hear that I am no the only one!! Telling people about my symptons and they laugh at me!!

McBMom 3 years ago

Whenever I’m in a pregnant woman conversation I throw it out there & haven’t met anyone else who suffered through those. For me it got worse with each of my 3 pregnancies ending up like I had a bag of marbles in my panties. Everytime a new nurse would check on me she’d physically gasp & wince. Guess they’ve never seen such awful vulvular varicosities either!

The only silver lining is each time they went away as soon as I delivered. The verdict is still out on whether I’m willing to endure that again or if we’re done making babies.

Kathy V. 3 years ago

I’ll add this to my file titled “One is Enough”. It’s to be given to my husband the next time he mentions having more kids.

June O’Hara 3 years ago

I’ve never had kids, sparing me certain conditions Down There. However, the first time I wore a Maxi pad, I put it glue side up.

Does that count for anything?

Guerrilla Mom 3 years ago

A little Google research, and it seems that these are very common. WTF?? Why do they always make us figure this stuff out on our own?

Elle 3 years ago

I totally had this problem but I hated my OB and wasn’t comfortable talking about it with him. Now that I know there was something I could have done for relief I hate him just a little more…good for you sharing this! Someone else might not suffer in silence because of your honesty.

Arnebya 3 years ago

The pre-pubescent pre-teen in me is yelling start conversations with pregnant women by asking, “So how’s your vulva?” And then I giggle. I am giggling. I’m glad your vulvular veins returned to normal. Did this happen with both children?

Punkinmama 3 years ago

So, *that’s* what’s going on down there, huh?! Glad to know it’s not leprosy or some other fatal condition! Oh, the things we endure to bring children into this world! I look forward to saying things like, “You better listen to me… I suffered vulvar varicosities during my pregnancy with you!” in the future!

Desperately Erin 3 years ago

I think varicose veins in your lady business is the ULTIMATE badge of honor. Holy crap!

Also, let’s promise to be as frank and disgusting with our (especially the male ones) OBs, in the hopes that things like vulvar varicosities don’t continue to be met with a shrug and an eye roll as they firmly place our vague-because-we-are-afraid-to-be-honest symptoms in the “feminine mystique” diagnosis realm. It’s my opinion that if you choose to work with vaginas for a living, you deserve everything you’ve got coming to you!

Hilarious post, by the way! Sharing now!

Ashley L 3 years ago

Huh! Never heard of that! I don’t know if my situation was the vein thing or if it was just being pregnant with a 10lb. 8.6oz. baby the 1st time and a 10lb. 3oz. baby the 2nd time! Either way, I always checking to see if my insides were still located at least within the confinements of my underwear… *ahem* I mean granny panties. Great post!

Jessica W. 3 years ago

I think It’s like bladder problems during pregnancy…we just don’t talk about except to our mothers!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

P.S. Better disclose that I am NOT an affiliate for any sort/type/kind of vulvar supporter! :)

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes 3 years ago

This is one for the ‘blogpost to read when suffering from baby fever’ file.

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

You made me giggle with your “my children decided to be pain in the asses before birth”!!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

You’re not alone. Sorry you never got the truth.

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Glad it was better this time around. And glad we would have something to talk about–our badges of honor–the next time we were at a dinner party together!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

Really, there’s nothing one can do EXCEPT laugh at vulvar varicosities! “living breathing with a heartbeat of their own”–classic!

Katy @ Experienced Bad Mom 3 years ago

“The things our bodies do to reproduce”—some crazy stuff for sure!

jessa 3 years ago

This is really a condition!? I had hemmoroids and varicose veins but apparently I also had vulvar varicosities. Relief 2 years later. I had always thought it was because I didn’t do enough kegals. Nice to know it’s not because I was lazy but that my children decided to be pain in the asses before birth.

CA 3 years ago

4 pregnancies, multiple docs….never knew what was wrong with me :-(

Emily 3 years ago

I tried talking with my (inexperienced male) OB about this during my first pregnancy. Since I was sort of embarrassed, I only mentioned that it felt like there was a lot of pressure, and he just told me it was normal. What I wanted to say was “It feels like I must have testicles.” I suffered from the worst hemorrhoids that anyone ever had, and after doing my own research, I diagnosed myself with the same embarrassing condition as you. :) I never did find a supporter, but I’m about 8 weeks from delivering my next child, and seem to be a little better this time around. I can totally relate to this post. Thank you for your honesty. And maybe, just maybe, vulvar varicosities will become a badge of honor. hahaha

Jennifer 3 years ago

I suffered, too!

I had repressed it until I read this…I never did find a support thing that helped. My daughter is 8 months old (today!) and I seriously had put it out of my head entirely. Now, I’m questioning this whole, “we should have another baby in a few years when the first two are in school,” thing my husband and I have going.

Alexandra 3 years ago

Oh I am sorry to laugh but I LOVED this.

The ugly truth.

I won’t tell you where my PG variscosities ended up.

But I can tell you, they were living breathing with a heartbeat of their own.

YUK.

Mom Off Meth 3 years ago

THAT I haven’t heard of. So thanks for sharing. In case it ever comes up in conversation, I can say “oh, I know what that is!”

The things our bodies do to reproduce.