Pregnancy Hemorrhoids: Causes, Treatment and Prevention
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.
The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids during pregnancy are:
- Blood coating the stool.
- Blood on toilet paper.
- Itching in the anal canal.
- A small swollen (often blue of bright red colored) mound of skin protruding from the anus (for external hemorrhoids).
- Pain in the anus.
What causes hemorrhoids when you are pregnant?
Hemorrhoids are related to constipation. Constipation combined with 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 are the treatments for 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.
- 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
- Analgesics: Ointment or cream can be used for external hemorrhoids, if it involves pain and irritation
What can you do to prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy?
The best thing to do to prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy 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
- Know what foods you need to avoid while pregnant
ALWAYS check with your health care provider before taking any medication for hemorrhoids.
Want to Know More?
Compiled using information from the following source:
Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy Harms, Roger W., M.D., et al, Part 3.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynocologists, What can I do for hemmorrhoids during pregnancy?