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Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy: Prevention and Management

Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy: Prevention and Management

Hemorrhoids during pregnancy occur due to physical and hormonal changes. Some hemorrhoids may cause pain and discomfort, while others are painless. Regardless of its type, it is still best to get treatment right away. Let’s find out how to get rid of hemorrhoids fast during pregnancy.

Hemorrhoids during pregnancy occur due to physical and hormonal changes. Some hemorrhoids may cause pain and discomfort, while others are painless. Regardless of its type, it is still best to get treatment right away. Let’s find out how to get rid of hemorrhoids fast during pregnancy.

Hemorrhoids: All You Need to Know

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids (piles) are swollen blood vessels in the rectum or anus. Hemorrhoid can develop inside the rectum and is painless (internal), sticks out of the anus (prolapsed), or affects the veins outside of the anus that causes bleeding and pain.

Anyone can get hemorrhoids no matter what age and no matter how healthy a person is. But, it is more apparent in people ages 45 to 65 and pregnant women.

Hemorrhoids normally go on their own, but it is still advisable to consult a doctor if swelling in your rectum hinders you from being productive.

Hemorrhoids and pregnancy

How common are hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

Hemorrhoids can appear anytime during pregnancy and affects about 25% to 35% of expectant mothers. In certain countries, however, about 85% of pregnant women in their third trimester have the condition.

The swelling of the veins in the rectum during pregnancy is common due to certain changes that pregnant women undergo. Greater pressure in the uterus, as well as blood flow increase in the pelvic area, causes these veins to swell and sometimes pop out of the anus.

Also, hormonal changes that slow down digestion makes expecting women prone to constipation, making them more susceptible to hemorrhoids.

Constipation can cause straining when passing stool that puts extra pressure on the veins in the rectal region, resulting in inflammation and bulging.

Pregnancy also increases progesterone hormones, which relaxes the walls of the blood vessels in the rectum, making hemorrhoids more likely to develop.

In addition, hemorrhoids develop postpartum after a vaginal delivery due to excessive ]straining while pushing.

Women who had hemorrhoids before getting pregnant have a higher risk of having the same condition once they’re expecting.

Symptoms of hemorrhoids during pregnancy

Here are the common hemorrhoids symptoms an expecting mother might experience:

  • Bleeding that is noticeable when wiping the anus after a bowel movement
  • Inflammation or swelling in the rectal region
  • Itching and burning sensation
  • Lump on the anus
  • Painful bowel movements

These symptoms will vary depending on the type of hemorrhoids. The symptoms above are more likely to show if a pregnant woman has external hemorrhoids, since internal hemorrhoids are usually painless and have minimal symptoms aside from rectal bulge.

However, with overexertion during bowel movements, internal hemorrhoids can stick out of the anus and may cause bleeding and throbbing pain.

How to prevent hemorrhoids while pregnant?

Certain factors prompt the development of hemorrhoids. Thus, it must be a priority to prevent these triggers.

The following steps will help prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy:

Prevent constipation

  • Add more fiber-rich food to your diet like beans, avocado, and oatmeal.
  • Refrain from delaying your trips to the bathroom, and do not exert too much effort when having a bowel movement.
  • Consult your doctor for constipation medications or softeners that can help soften your stool.
  • Ask your doctor for natural prenatal vitamins instead of synthetic ones.
  • Stay hydrated to keep your stool soft and promote regular and smooth bowel movements. Drink at least 8 glasses of water.

Lifestyle changes

  • Be physically active by doing kegel exercises to strengthen your muscles around the pelvic floor.
  • Ask your physician for exercises that are fit for your current state.
  • Make sure to move once in a while if your routine requires you to sit or stand for a long time.
  • Since the growing fetus in the womb puts more pressure on your rectal region, it is best if you lie on your side to take off some of that pressure.
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Practice good hygiene, especially for intimate areas.

What’s the Right Way to Clean the Vagina?

Management tips to ease pregnancy hemorrhoids

Although hemorrhoids can heal on their own, treating them right away can prevent further complications. Relieve hemorrhoid symptoms by following these home remedies:

  • Soak the affected area in warm water for 15 minutes, especially after every bowel movement, and pat dry afterward.
  • Put ice packs briefly on the rectum/anus to soothe and reduce swelling.
  • Using a cotton pad, apply witch hazel extract on the rectal area to ease pain and itching as well as reduce bleeding. Witch hazel also has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help heal the skin.
  • Applying pure Aloe Vera on the swollen area will help alleviate inflammation as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salt with two tablespoons of glycerin. Using a gauze pad, apply the mixture to the troubled area and leave it for about 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat the process every six hours until the pain subsides.
  • Keep your rectal region clean and dry and only use soft tissue, unscented wipes, or feminine wash when washing the area.

Take note that if these home remedies did not work in keeping hemorrhoids symptoms at bay, it is best if to consult a doctor for medications and possible treatments.

Usually, hemorrhoids will naturally heal after giving birth. However, if it persists or becomes worse, doctors might recommend surgical treatment.

Key takeaways

Hemorrhoids are a natural part of the human anatomy. But, certain triggers may cause it to swell, which may lead to pain and discomfort.

Pregnant women must treat hemorrhoids as soon as it develops, so it will not add to the aches and pains that they’re already experiencing.

Home remedies will surely help in addressing this condition, but remember to always seek professional advice if you need medication.

Learn more about the Third Trimester of pregnancy, here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

What Can I Do to Treat Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/expert-answers/hemorrhoids-during-pregnancy/faq-20058149 Accessed October 22, 2020

Hemorrhoids in Pregnancy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2278306/ Accessed October 22, 2020

Dealing with Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy https://www.honorhealth.com/healthy-living/hemorrhoids-during-pregnancy Accessed October 22, 2020

7 Best and Worst Home Remedies for Your Hemorrhoids https://health.clevelandclinic.org/7-best-and-worst-home-remedies-for-your-hemorrhoids/ Accessed October 22, 2020

Hemorrhoids and What to do About Them https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/hemorrhoids_and_what_to_do_about_them Accessed October 22, 2020

Piles in Pregnancy https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/piles-haemorrhoids-pregnant/ Accessed October 22, 2020

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Written by Mayvilyn Cabigao Updated May 27
Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, M.D.
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