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.