Postpartum Varicose Veins: Supplementation with Pycnogenol or Elastic Compression-A 12-Month Follow-Up

Int J Angiol. 2017 Mar;26(1):12-19. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1363784. Epub 2014 May 29.


This open registry aimed to evaluate the clinical evolution of postpartum varicose veins (VVs), in healthy women after the second pregnancy, how these veins regain shape and competence, and possible treatments. The registry included two groups of women: (1) those who used elastic compression stockings, and (2) who used an oral venotonic agent (Pycnogenol, 100 mg/d). A total of 12 evaluation targets were established. Minor symptoms were scored in an analogue scale line. A visual analogue scale line evaluated the overall satisfaction relative to elastic compression or Pycnogenol. Overall 133 women completed the registry evaluation with at least 3 months of follow-up. The resulting two registry groups were comparable. At 3 and 6 months in the Pycnogenol group the number of veins and incompetent sites were lower. At 6 months there were 13.3% of patients with edema in controls versus 3.2% in the Pycnogenol group. Spider veins decreased in Pycnogenol patients. Cramps and other minor symptoms were less common in the Pycnogenol group. In both groups there was a significant improvement at 6 months with better results in the Pycnogenol group. The need for treatment was limited with a decreased need for sclerotherapy, surgery, and conservative treatments in the Pycnogenol group. The overall satisfaction was higher among Pycnogenol patients, and compliance was optimal. Re-evaluation at 12 months indicated that the variations in VVs and spider vein clusters and the associated symptoms did not change. Most remodeling appeared to happen within 6 months after the pregnancy. It was concluded that the use of Pycnogenol improves signs/symptoms of postpartum VVs, and venous function and shape seem to return faster to prepartum, physiological pattern with its use.

Keywords: Pycnogenol; compression stockings; edema; postpartum conditions; supplement studies; varicose veins; women health.