Home Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
Users Online: 199
Home | About us | Editorial board | Search | Ahead of print | Current issue | Archives | Submit article | Instructions | Subscribe | Contacts | Advertise | Login 

Table of Contents
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 44-45

Vulvar varicosities in pregnancy

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Nigeria

Date of Web Publication6-Sep-2016

Correspondence Address:
Matthew Chum Taingson
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna State University, Kaduna
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0331-3131.189804

Rights and Permissions

A case of vulval varicosities occurring during pregnancy that was managed conservatively and regressed completely postpartum is presented.

Keywords: Conservative management, pregnancy, vulval varicosities

How to cite this article:
Taingson MC, Adze JA, Bature SB, Amina DM, Caleb M, Amina A. Vulvar varicosities in pregnancy. Ann Nigerian Med 2016;10:44-5

How to cite this URL:
Taingson MC, Adze JA, Bature SB, Amina DM, Caleb M, Amina A. Vulvar varicosities in pregnancy. Ann Nigerian Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 May 11];10:44-5. Available from: https://www.anmjournal.com/text.asp?2016/10/1/44/189804

   Introduction Top

Vulval varicosity is a distressing disorder occurring in 10% of pregnant women, especially during the latter half of pregnancy and usually regresses postpartum.[1] Women become extremely uncomfortable because of the bulk, tension, and warmth of one or both labia majora, especially in the posterior part.[2] The mass is an embarrassment and causes discomfort during sitting and walking.

   Case Report Top

Mrs. AH was a 28-year-old G4P3+0 3alive, who presented to the Antenatal Clinic of Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital Kaduna, on October 13, 2015. Her last menstrual period was March 20, 2015 (Gestation 29 weeks 2 days). She complained of vulval lesions of 2 months duration. The progression was gradual. Mild itching and heaviness were the associated symptoms. There was a history of similar swellings during her last pregnancy (2013). She had three previous deliveries without complications. She had no menstrual problems; she was a house wife with no formal education.

On examination, she was not pale, anicteric, had no pedal edema. Her chest was clinically clear. Her pulse rate was 80 beats/min, and blood pressure was 120/80 mmHg. In the abdomen, there was no organomegaly, and the uterine fundus was consistent with 30 weeks gestation. Genital examination revealed tortuous, soft nontender, compressible swellings bilaterally over the external surface of the labia majora [Figure 1]. Varicose veins were seen over the right thigh [Figure 2]. The patient was managed conservatively with the use of tights and stocking which she wore in the mornings before she got out of bed. She was counseled also to avoid standing for long. The lesions regressed completely within 2 months postpartum.
Figure 1: Vulvar varicosities

Click here to view
Figure 2: Varicose veins over the thigh

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

Vulvar varicosities most commonly occur during pregnancy and create a great deal of anxiety in pregnant patients. They may produce pelvic discomfort, vulvar pressure, pruritus, and a sensation of prolapse.[3] Vulvar varicosities may appear suddenly by the middle of the first pregnancy, and tend to occur more frequently in the second or subsequent pregnancies because of their tendency to enlarge.[3] Our patient gave a history of similar swellings during her last pregnancy. They may also occur in nonpregnant patients as part of the “nutcracker phenomenon” which is the compression of the left renal vein between the aorta and superior mesenteric artery.[4] Vulvar varices may occur as part of pelvic venous congestion syndrome due to venous reflux through the left ovarian veins.[5]

Diagnosis is usually clinical, with dilated tortuous veins seen, and is partially compressible and have a “bag of worms feel” on palpation usually on the labia majora, minora, and vagina.[1] Other differentials such as lymphangioma and isolated neurofibroma,[6] should be entertained. Biopsy of the lesion is unwarranted, and massive hemorrhage is an associated complication.[7] Our patient, in addition, had varicose veins over the right thigh. Doppler sonography with deep inspiration and expiration is the preferred method of investigation.[1] This was not available in our center at the time of presentation.

Conservative therapy is the most common treatment modality as vulvar varices usually disappear postpartum. Special compression garment “V2” supporter or the V-Brace,[8] can be used also in the management. Sclerotherapy is rarely used, mostly in cases of extensive vulvar varices that may rupture during labor.[9] Women in which the varices persist, after delivery and have symptoms such as chronic pelvic pain, dyspareunia, dysuria, lumbosacral neuropathy and generalized lethargy, are often treated with form Sclerotherapy,[10] and coiling of the ovarian veins.[11]

This case report highlights the importance of genital examination to diagnose vulvar varicosities in pregnancy and efficacy of conservative management.


The authors would like to express gratitude to Prof Lydia Airede, for her critical reading and comments on the case report.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Jindal S, Dedhia A, Tambe S, Jerajani H. Vulvovaginal varicosities: An uncommon sight in a dermatology clinic. Indian J Dermatol 2014;59:210.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  Medknow Journal  
Dodd H, Wright HP. Vulval varicose veins in pregnancy. Br Med J 1959;1:831-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
Fegan G. Varicose Veins: Compression Sclerotherapy. Ch. 7. Published, 1967. [Reprinted 1990]. Available from: http://www.fegan.com/cs/Chapter%252520VII.htm.  Back to cited text no. 3
Hokama A, Oshiro Y. Clinical vistas: A thin 43-year-old woman with gross hematuria. CMAJ 2005;173:251.  Back to cited text no. 4
Hovsepian D. Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome. Presented at the 13th Annual MIIT Interventional Radiology and Endovascular Therapy Seminar. Available from: http://www.miit.com/2004/fri2004/venousHovsepian.pdf. [Last accessed on 2015 Apr 05].  Back to cited text no. 5
Lewis FM, Lewis-Jones MS, Toon PG, Rollason TP. Neurofibromatosis of the vulva. Br J Dermatol 1992;127:540-1.  Back to cited text no. 6
Shiva Kumar V, Madhvamurthy P. Vulval varicosities in pregnancy. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 1999;65:147-8.  Back to cited text no. 7
Fembrace: The Intelligent Solution for Modern Woman. Available from: http://www.fembrace.com/about.htm. [Last accessed on 2015 Jun 01].  Back to cited text no. 8
Foote RR. Varicose Veins. 3rd ed. Bristol, UK: Wright; 1960. Available from: http://www.fegan.com/cs/Chapter%252520VII.htm. [Last accessed on 2015 June 10].  Back to cited text no. 9
Gandini R, Chiocchi M, Konda D, Pampana E, Fabiano S, Simonetti G. Transcatheter foam sclerotherapy of symptomatic female varicocele with sodium-tetradecyl-sulfate foam. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 2008;31:778-84.  Back to cited text no. 10
Kwon SH, Oh JH, Ko KR, Park HC, Huh JY. Transcatheter ovarian vein embolization using coils for the treatment of pelvic congestion syndrome. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 2007;30:655-61.  Back to cited text no. 11


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
   Case Report
    Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded209    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal