Women are more likely to have swollen legs than men since they have more of the hormone progesterone. This hormone can relax vein walls and subsequently cause blood to pool. In addition, birth control pills and hormone therapy can increase the amount of this hormone inside a woman’s body, exacerbating the issue.
Lower estrogen levels, a side effect of menopause, can weaken vein walls and valves. Additionally, lower estrogen levels make it harder to burn fat, which increases pressure on veins and leads to swelling.
As we age, our connective tissue breaks down, and we lose elasticity in our blood vessels. With too little elasticity, connective tissues cannot effectively push blood toward the heart. The older we are, the higher our risk for CVI and swelling legs.
Extra weight puts pressure on the veins, which makes them more susceptible to swelling. Furthermore, obesity can lead to loss of mobility, which can contribute to poor vascular health.
Pregnancy strains your vascular system because the expanding uterus compresses the main vein and reduces blood flow to the heart. Also, your blood volume and heart rate increases to nourish your baby, adding more strain on your veins and valves.