Unfortunately, hemorrhoids during pregnancy are common. Hemorrhoids are varicose (swollen) veins of the rectum and are usually painful. They most often appear during the third trimester.
What causes hemorrhoids during pregnancy?
Hemorrhoids are related to constipation. Constipation combined with the increased pressure on the rectum and perineum is the primary reason that women experience these. Prolonged standing may also be a factor contributing to hemorrhoids.
What can you do to treat hemorrhoids during pregnancy?
The good news is that the problem usually improves after the baby is born. In the meantime, there are a number of things you can do to treat hemorrhoids.
Any one or more of the following may help relieve hemorrhoids:
- Place baking soda (wet or dry) on the area to reduce itching
- Take a warm bath with baking soda in the water
- Use witch hazel to reduce swelling or bleeding
- Avoid sitting for long periods
- Use Tucks Medicated Pads
What can you do to prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy?
The best thing to do during pregnancy to prevent hemorrhoids is to avoid getting constipated. If you are constipated, avoid straining during bowel movements.
Try the following to prevent constipation:
- Eat a high fiber diet
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Drink prune juice
- Do not delay going to the bathroom
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
ALWAYS check with your health care provider before taking any medication for hemorrhoids.
Compiled using information from the following source:
Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy Harms, Roger W., M.D., et al, Part 3.