Swollen legs during pregnancy are called edema. This condition is caused by fluid retention that occurs during pregnancy causing swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet. It usually occurs in the last trimester of pregnancy.
During pregnancy there is a large increase in body water, in fact, much of the weight gain in pregnant women is due to the increase in body fluids, this increase is mainly due to the hormonal effect, which activates the retention of sodium and water in the kidneys.
In this condition, the main symptoms are: swelling of the legs, feet, ankles, and hands due to fluid retention. If you notice that there will be swelling on the face or around the eyes and pronounced swelling of the hands and feet with exaggeration, it could be a sign of preeclampsia, which is a very serious disease.
Some women notice that they have one leg more swollen than the other, or they suffer from certain pains in the area. When you notice these signs, I recommend that you go to your doctor, as you may suffer from a blood clot.
The causes are as follows:
- The causes of swollen feet in pregnancy are fluid retention. The uterus reaches a large volume, compressing the blood vessels that carry blood from the lower limbs to the heart. This tension causes the accumulation of fluid in the tissues and the formation of edema. During pregnancy, the extracellular fluid increases, and the permeability of blood vessels increase due to estrogen, which causes swelling of the legs and ankles.
- Another cause of edema in pregnant women is due to decreased protein concentration in the blood, which in turn facilitates the outflow of water from the veins to peripheral tissues, promoting its accumulation in the form of edema.
- Women should be aware that excessive weight gain during pregnancy can be another cause of edema.
- Avoid sitting in bed or on the chair too long without moving your legs, as excessive salt intake and low potassium levels can lead to these conditions.