Hemorrhoids can be quite common among pregnant women, at any time during or postpartum
period. Some are more susceptible to them more than others. If you are already suffering
before pregnancy, you are likely to get one during or after. They are known to develop
during labor when pushing the baby out. But it’s interesting to note that hemorrhoids
go away eventually on their own, with or without medication.
Hemorrhoids appear when blood vessels in the rectum swell. They are a form of varicose
veins and the swelling can range from a tiny raisin to a grape in size. Sometimes
the swelling can protrude through the anus and you can feel it as a soft tissue mass
where there shouldn’t be one. They can just be an itchy or painful annoyance. They
can cause rectal bleeding while in a bowel movement.
Why Get Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy?
Here are the reasons why:
• In general, varicose veins easily develop in pregnant women, often in the legs,
sometimes the vulva and the rectal area for various reasons. A growing uterus can
put pressure on the pelvic veins and the inferior vena cava receiving blood from
lower extremities. A slow blood flow from the lower part of your body increases
pressure on the veins just below the uterus to make them dilated and swollen.
• Constipation is common during pregnancy. Straining often leads to hemorrhoids
when experiencing difficult bowel movement.
• Increased production of the hormone progesterone causes the walls in your veins
to relax and swell. This hormone also makes it easy to be constipated.
3 Simple Tips To Relieve Hemorrhoids
To relieve hemorrhoids:
• An ice pack applied over the swollen area several times in a day often helps to
shrink it and alleviate the discomfort.
• Immerse your bottom into warm water in a sitz bath using a tub or plastic. This
can soothe the affected area. Try to alternate between cold and warm water. The
ice pack suggested above can be followed with a sitz bath.
• Don’t use ordinary toilet paper to clean your rectum as this can be rough to the
swollen mass after a bowel movement. Use mild tissue or pre-moistened medicated
wipes specifically formulated for hemorrhoids.
Ways To Avoid
To avoid hemorrhoids:
• Get into the habit of eating more high-fiber foods and drinking 8-10 glasses of
water per day. A fiber supplement can be an alternative. The objective is to prevent
constipation. And if you are constipated, get help from your doctor for a stool
softener or laxative.
• Do some regular Kegel exercise as this helps to increase blood circulation in your
rectal area as well as strengthen the anal muscles. This helps lessen the chances
of developing hemorrhoids.
• Avoid sitting too long. And when lying in bed, lie on your sides to help decrease
the pressure on your rectal veins.
For most pregnant women, hemorrhoids will just get go away after delivery with some
of the measures discussed here. Rarely will you need minor surgery to correct it
or require medication to help shrink it. But if none of the preventive and relieving
efforts suggested here works, or if there’s pain and rectal bleeding, then it’s time
to see your doctor.