Why do women get vericose veins?

Medically speaking, why are women more inherent of vericose veins? Is it because they wear heels?
Is it an estrogen thing?

I thought they were very close veins. As in, very close to the skin.

Although there is no definitive explanation, here is science’s best guess: Collagen strengthens the walls of blood vessels. Collagen production is linked to female hormones. (In men, whatever agent is necesaary appears to be present in sufficient quantities throughout adulthood). As women age, or during pregnancy, hormone production is altered affecting collagen production. Veins become more elastic, the valves that help pump blood out of the legs fail to function properly causing blood to pool. Obesity can also cause vericose veins. I hope that’s satisfactory. If you need more info, try http://www.blackcity.net/BlackCityCenters/Health/vericose_veins.htm for an excellent overview.

fyi, Varicose is the proper spelling of this condition. The link I provided is correct, though.

I know it is! I was just quoting a joke I heard from Dick Gregory. :wink:

First, both men and women can get varicose veins.

With respect to the OP, I’d venture to say that it’s not just an estrogen thing, but also a progesterone thing. Progesterone is another “female” hormone that, among other things, causes blood vessels to become leaky, lax and dilated. In a similar way, it causes the bowel muscles to become lax and thus promotes constipation.

It’s not too surprising then that times of high progesterone levels, such as during the second half of the menstrual cycle, or during pregnancy, are often characterized by swelling and constipation.

I didn’t mean to suggest that men can’t get varicose veins. It’s just not as common.

That’s true. It took a long time for my doctor to figure out what it was, but I have a tiny 1mm varicose vein right on the tip of my… um… I better not say any more, this is probably more than you want to know.

…um…, thank you?