What are vaginal varices and vulval varices?
Varices is a short name for varicose veins. Both varices and varicose veins are bulging veins seen through the surface - usually the skin but sometimes elsewhere in the body where there isn't any skin.
Vaginal varices are bulging veins in the wall of the vagina seen or felt bulging into the vagina itself.
Vulval varices are bulging veins that bulge through the skin of the vulva - the "lips" of skin or mucosa at the entrance of the vagina.
Sometimes the vaginal / vulval varices can be very large, distorting the skin and making the vulva look very abnormal. The problems this can cause are discussed later
How common are vaginal/vulval varices and who gets them?
No-one knows how many women suffer from vaginal/vulval varicose veins as there has never been any research done to determine how common they are.
Our experience since 2000 has shown several facts:
- We rarely see varicose veins of the vagina or vulva in women who have not been pregnant.
- They are also very rare in women who have had caesarean sections - unless the women had progressed quite some way into labour before the caesarean was performed
- Almost all women with vaginal or vulval varices had previously had at least one vaginal delivery
- One in 5 women with varicose veins of the legs have some vaginal or vulval varices on scanning - although most are too small to be seen or cause a problem
- Many women with vaginal or vulval varicose veins do not have any varicose veins of the legs
- Since our first website on the subject was launched in 2000, the number of women contacting us for treatment has been rising steadily. Almost all of them had been told previously that no treatment was possible - despite the fact it has been well established in our practice since 2000 with excellent results from treatment.