Just when you were getting over morning sickness and feeling good about your second trimester, hemorrhoids make an unpleasant appearance? It is a common condition that around 20-50% pregnant moms experience through in their third trimester. Read on to find more about what is hemorrhoids, what you can do to avoid hemorrhoids during pregnancy, and when you need to see your doctor. Let’s jump in.
What Are Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy?
You’ve probably heard of varicose veins, large, swollen veins most commonly seen in the legs. Now when this type of swelling occurs in the rectum, the result is hemorrhoids. They could vary in size, going up to the size of a grape. Hemorrhoids can sometimes be extremely painful, even causing rectal bleeding in extreme cases.
How Do Hemorrhoids in Pregnancy Look Like?
Hemorrhoids vary in size but generally they would appear like swollen veins in the rectum area either in a size of a pea or going up to a size of a grape. Hemorrhoids during pregnancy, look like swollen veins of the rectum area; occurring when the blood vessels in and around the area become stretched. When these swollen veins protrude outwards they feel like a soft mass of skin either in a pea size or grape size depending upon the protrusion.
Is Hemorrhoids in Pregnancy Dangerous?
No, hemorrhoids while pregnant are not dangerous as per say, they can be really painful and cause extreme discomfort in pregnancy, especially if you are dealing with constipation as well. Since they are essentially the varicose veins of rectum so can be painful during bowel movements.
Is Hemorrhoids Common in Pregnancy?
Yes, hemorrhoids are common while pregnant due to below-mentioned factors that are linked to the occurrence of hemorrhoids when pregnant.
Constipation: One of the common woes of a pregnant woman, constipation in pregnancy can cause and if you have developed most hemorrhoids can worsen it as well. Constipation puts strain on the rectum area thus straining the already sensitive tissues resulting in hemorrhoids
The weight of the growing baby: The developing baby in your uterus puts pressure on your organs. As space becomes short, the blood flow in veins to and from your pelvis slows down, causing the veins to become enlarged
- Progesterone: This hormone relaxes tissues, and the walls of the veins, too, resulting in swelling that further result in hemorrhoids
Treating Hemorrhoids While Pregnant
While there are few ways to treat hemorrhoids during pregnancy, below mentioned are some of the treatments you can try to treat hemorrhoids in pregnancy.
Medicated pads: Medicated pads like witch hazel pads can help you in ease the pain from hemorrhoids. You can also consult your doctor for the same and she can recommend you the pads that will be safe for you
Tool softener: Since constipation is the main cause of hemorrhoids and constipation renders hardened stools causing more pressure on your sensitive skin, it is advisable to speak with your doctor and go for stool softeners that are safe in pregnancy
Hemorrhoid creams: Again post consulting your doctor you can go for hemorrhoids creams that will ease the itching and pain caused by hemorrhoids. Remember that the hemorrhoids creams will only ease or soothe the pain caused by the existing hemorrhoids and not treat them per say
- Arnica: Arnica is known to heal pain and bruises – quite common in homeopathy field of medicine you can consult your doctor regarding the same. Use it either as an arnica gel or an oil along with coconut oil to soothe the hemorrhoid pain
Read: What if Vomiting in last month of Pregnancy?
How To Avoid Hemorrhoids While Pregnant?
Pregnancy comes with its share of concerns for the expecting mother, and hemorrhoids can be unpleasant and painful. However, there are some things that you can do, to avoid them:
Avoid seizure: Quite commonly, the culprit leading to hemorrhoids is constipation. So follow these three steps to say bye-bye to constipation-
- Include plenty of fiber in your diet to avoid constipation – whole grains, leafy vegetables and fiber-rich fruits will help. Prunes and figs are good for avoiding constipation
- Drink plenty of water – at least ten glasses a day
- Avoid refined flour and processed food
Be active in pregnancy: If your work involves long periods of sitting (or even standing), take breaks when you can go for a short walk. Speak to your gynecologist and start a pregnancy yoga regimen
Reduce the toilet time: Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet will put pressure on the rectum
- Go when you need to go: When you feel the pressure to go, don’t wait for long, as this will also result in constipation
Simple Tips To Get Relief From Hemorrhoids while Pregnant
If you have hemorrhoids during pregnancy, first consult your doctor to make sure that they are, actually, hemorrhoids. Here are a few things that you can do at home, to minimize the discomfort-
Hot or cold: Keep an ice pack in the affected area often during the day. Just like the cold, heat treatment will also help. Sit in a sitz bath or a tub filled with warm water for 15 minutes
Medicines: Consult your doctor, who will prescribe a lubricating cream (that helps with easy passage of stools), as well as anesthetic cream for numbing the pain
Hygiene matters: Make sure you keep the anal area clean at all times
- Diet: Avoid constipation by eating fiber rich foods, and eliminating processed foods and food that is very spicy
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What Are The Common Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids in Pregnancy?
The common symptoms of hemorrhoids during pregnancy are as follows-
Itching in the rectum: If you are suffering from hemorrhoids then you may experience constant itching in the rectum area along with some burning sensation as well
Bleeding during bowel movement: If you see blood in your stool and while wiping your rectum post bowel movement then you have hemorrhoids. You may consult your doctor for better relief tips
Pain near anus: If you feel constant pain which is either sharp or dull then know that you are suffering from hemorrhoids during pregnancy
- Soft mass of skin protrusion: When wiping the rectum area you feel a soft mass of skin protruding out, then you are suffering from hemorrhoids
When Do I Need To Consult My Doctor For Hemorrhoids?
While in many cases simple home remedies provide relief, see your doctor in any of these following situations:
Often, hemorrhoids don’t completely disappear until a few weeks post-delivery. However, during pregnancy follow these tips to keep discomfort at bay. Regular exercise and a balanced diet are important for a healthy pregnancy, and will also help you minimize the effects (if not completely eliminate) hemorrhoids.
Have any tips for avoiding hemorrhoids, or dealing with them? Share them with the expecting mothers, in the comments section!
No relief after home treatment: You need to consult your doctor immediately if despite continuous home treatment, you have no relief
Unbearable pain: Pregnancy should be a smooth ride with less pain and more fun so if you feel the pain from hemorrhoids is unbearable then it is better to consult your gyneacologist immediately
Rectal bleeding: When you have a rectal bleeding in hemorrhoids it is better to consult your doctor
Other symptoms that call for immediate doctor attention: Apart from the above-mentioned symptoms if you feel or have below mentioned symptoms then it is better to seek immediate consultation with your doctor-
- If the tissue, which has bulged out from the anus, has not receded to normal despite 3- 7 days of home treatment
- If a lump in the anus has become big in size or has become painful
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