Hemorrhoids By The Numbers
- Around 20 million people in the United States suffer from hemorrhoids .
- In 2004, the National Institutes of Health noted that the diagnosis of hemorrhoids was associated with 3.2 million ambulatory care visits, 306,000 hospitalizations and 2 million prescriptions in the United States.
- The peak incidence of hemorrhoids is between the ages of 4565. Development of hemorrhoids before the age of 20 is unusual.
- The risk of developing hemorrhoids is higher in white adults than in black adults, higher in women than in men and higher for women who are pregnant.
We’re Talking ’bout Butts
Up to 35 per cent of pregnant women suffer from hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the rectum or anus, and as pleasant as they sound. One study found that, in some populations, up to 85 per cent of pregnancies are affected by the burning, painful, bloody butt menaces.
“Almost all women have hemorrhoids during pregnancy to a greater or lesser degree,” Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University, told The Bump.
“Hemorrhoids can range in size from as small as a raisin to as large as a grape. They can be merely itchy or downright painful and may even cause rectal bleeding, especially when you have a bowel movement,” BabyCenter noted.
The Bump explains that a perfect storm of pregnancy-related side effects triggers them: constipation that causes straining, higher progesterone levels that can cause the blood vessels to swell, increased blood volume that just makes the veins more swollen in general, and the weight of the baby in the uterus that can push those suckers right out.
What Are Hemorroids And What Do They Have To Do With Pregnancy
Hemorrhoids are a variation on varicose veins, in which the rectal veins become inflamed. They can be internal, in which the inflammations stays inside, or external. Pregnancy hormones, an increased blood volume, and pressure on the whole lower area of the body all contribute to an increased incidence of varicose veins during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids are no exception. Add to this that constipation is also more common during pregnancy and that the hard bowel movements that go along with constipation add to the inflammation, and you understand why hemorrhoids are often an unwelcome guest while you are expecting a baby.
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Hemorrhoids Post Pregnancy Overview
Why do hemorrhoids seem to be most prevalent and painful post pregnancy? This is because throughout labor, mothers use their abdominal muscles and subsequently, their muscles in the lower rectal region, to push and deliver the baby.
Mothers know that labor can go on for several hours, so the straining that occurs during this time inflames the rectal veins, resulting in swollen hemorrhoids.
Experiencing hemorrhoids post pregnancy is completely normal.
You can use natural remedies to soothe the pain caused by the swollen hemorrhoids.
Many methods of treatments are safe to use even while breastfeeding. If symptoms persist for more than a few weeks, consult your doctor for a treatment plan.
Hemorrhoids can be unbearable at times, so get as much help as you can by checking out this hemorrhoid pain guide.
When To Call Your Doctor
If you are being diligent in your home treatment, you should notice a gradual improvement in your hemorrhoids within the weeks following the birth. However, if your hemorrhoids are aggressively persistent or if you experience rectal bleeding, you definitely want to talk to your doctor or midwife. In extreme and rare cases, you may need to consult a specialist, and surgery may be required.
As a new mom, hemorrhoids are the last thing you want to be dealing with. But with a little bit of self-care, you should be feelingand sittingbetter in no time.
Can I Have Hemorrhoid Surgery While Pregnant
In instances where medical therapies fail to help manage the symptoms and relieve pain, operative interventions may be needed to help treat the problem.
Although many mothers may experience fear for themselves and fetuses, there is no risk for a hemorrhoidectomy and the process is completely safe, brining only the corrective intervention it was intended for and causing no damages to both fetus and mothers.
Make sure you speak with your obstetrician before opting for hemorrhoid surgery when pregnant.
What Best Natural Pain Relief For Pregnant Hemorrhoids
If you do get pregnancy hemorrhoids here are some things that can alleviate the pain:
- Use a cold pack on the hemorrhoids as this relieves the burning sensation and shrinks the swelling somewhat.
- Taking a sitz bath calms the throbbing of the swollen rectal veins and reduces some of the bulging. If you dont have a sitz bath, a regular bath with Epsom salts or baking soda can calm your sore anal tissues. Relax for 20 minutes in your bath.
- There is another thing you can do which not everyone can handle easily and that is to use a lubricated finger to gently push the swollen veins back inside your rectum. This protects the hemorrhoids from external abrasions and sometimes reduces the pressure so that they shrink.
- Dab your hemorrhoids with a cotton ball dipped in witch hazel or apply a medicated pad that is prepared with soothing medications.
How Does Postpartum Affect Your Emotions
The first few weeks after your baby is born can be a time of excitementand of being very tired. You may look at your wondrous little baby and feel happy. But at the same time, you may feel exhausted from a lack of sleep and your new responsibilities.
Many women get the “baby blues” during the first few days after childbirth. The “baby blues” usually peak around the fourth day and then ease up in less than 2 weeks. If you have the blues for more than a few days, or if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby, call your doctor right away. You may have postpartum depression. This needs to be treated. Support groups and counseling can help. Sometimes medicine also can help.
For more information, see the topic Postpartum Depression.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids And Varicose Veins In Pregnancy
Hemorrhoids can be internal, forming inside the rectum, or external, located on the outside, around the anal opening. Internal hemorrhoids can sometimes bulge out through the anal opening. The most common symptom is bright red blood passed with a bowel movement. External hemorrhoids can be painful or itch, and may bleed if irritated by straining or wiping.
Varicose veins often look like large, twisted, raised blue or purple veins on the legs often on the backs of the calves or inside the legs. They may cause mild swelling in the ankles and feet, or aching, heaviness, or throbbing in the legs. They can also cause leg cramps. If varicose veins occur in the genital area, they also appear as large, twisted, raised veins.
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What Causes Haemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Haemorrhoids are caused by a reduction in the tone of anal canal cushions, which control your bowel movements.
During pregnancy, haemorrhoids can be triggered by an increase in pressure on your rectal veins. This can result from your uterus enlarging, pressure from your growing baby, and increased blood flow. All of these occurrences increase the pressure on the veins around your anus as pregnancy progresses. Further, straining on the toilet because of constipation can trigger or worsen haemorrhoids.
Straining on the toilet because of constipation can trigger or worsen haemorrhoids.
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Surgical Treatment For Hemorrhoids In Los Angeles After Childbirth
However, if you are a woman dealing with more severe hemorrhoids, treatments ranging from minimally invasive techniques to more extensive surgery are available. You may want to consult with one of our colorectal surgeons to determine if you are a candidate for these procedures postpartum. Your treatment options will depend upon how far along you are with your postpartum recovery.
The good thing is that minimally invasive hemorrhoid procedures can treat hemorrhoids without cutting or stapling to postpartum women. These techniques also have a shorter recovery time and often the patient requires less pain medication.
One method of treatment is rubber band ligation, in which a rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid. The band cuts off blood circulation and, as a result, the hemorrhoid withers away within days. Another method is sclerotherapy, injection of a chemical solution around the blood vessel to shrink it. A third technique relies on infrared coagulation to destroy the hemorrhoid by burning. Finally, a surgical procedure known as hemorrhoidectomy is occasionally recommended for extensive or severe hemorrhoids to remove them completely. All of these are secondary options for persistent or severe cases that do not respond to conservative methods.
How Can You Treat Symptoms During Pregnancy
If you experience symptoms, try one of these remedies:
- Cold therapy can help reduce swelling and bring temporary relief. Apply an ice pack to the affected area.
- Soak in warm water several times a day. If you dont have a bathtub, you can buy a sitz bath. After getting out of the tub, pat the area dry, and then point your hair dryer on low heat on the area. It can feel quite comforting.
- If sitting is uncomfortable, get a donut-shaped pillow to ease the pressure.
- Apply witch hazel pads to the area and change the pads frequently. Witch hazel has a cooling effect and helps reduce swelling.
- Baking soda used wet or dry can be applied topically to help alleviate itching.
- Coconut oil can relieve pain and inflammation. So can pure aloe vera without added chemicals and fragrances or arnica.
- Stay clean and use soft, unscented toilet tissue or unscented wipes to avoid more irritation in the affected area.
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Treatment For Postpartum Hemorrhoids
Your doctor may prescribe oral or topical medications to treat hemorrhoids. The treatments include:
- Stool softeners: They soften the stool, improve its consistency, and trigger bowel movements. Docusate sodium and docusate calcium are a few such medicines you may be prescribed .
- Medicated wipes: They relieve itching, inflammation, and pain. Some of the most prescribed wipes are hydrocortisone, witch hazel, and lidocaine .
- Hemorrhoid creams and suppositories: They treat pain and inflammation of both internal and external hemorrhoids. Glycerin and bisacodyl are some frequently used suppositories to treat constipation and alleviate the symptoms of hemorrhoids .
- Fiber supplements: Fiber supplements include psyllium , methylcellulose and calcium polycarbophil .
- Pain relievers: Tylenol or ibuprofen are recommended for temporary relief .
In extreme and rare cases, surgery is needed. Your doctor may recommend any of the following surgical treatments if necessary .
It is common to develop postpartum hemorrhoids, especially after a vaginal delivery. The condition subsides on its own, but in some cases, the hemorrhoids remain for weeks or months. Hemorrhoids can be prevented by making some dietary and lifestyle changes. Eating high-fiber foods, keeping yourself hydrated, and regularly exercising can reduce the chances of postpartum hemorrhoids.
Do you have any experience to share? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
How Are Hemmorhoids Classified
When it comes to piles, everyone experiences them differently. Therefore, they have been assigned grades based on severity. These grades include the following:
- Grade 1 This grade is used to describe internal piles that affect the inner lining of the anus.
- Grade 2 This grade describes internal piles that are slightly larger than grade 1 but have not yet extended beyond the inner lining of the anus.
- And, Grade 3 This grade is associated with external piles, also known as prolapsed piles, which can be felt hanging from the rectum. However, they can be re-inserted.
Grade 4 This grade is associated with external piles that require medical treatment as they are much larger than those associated with grade 3 and cannot be re-inserted.
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What To Do When You Have Postpartum Hemorrhoids
There are a number of ways to help relieve the discomfort from your hemorrhoids, including:
Eat a high-fiber diet. Try to soften your stools by eating foods that are high in fiber. High-fiber foods include vegetables like broccoli and green peas, fruits like pears and apples, legumes like lentils and black beans, as well as whole grain cereals and breads.
Drink lots of water. If youre breastfeeding, youll need at least eight cups of water a day. Have a glass of water every time you nurse your baby.
Stool softener. Talk to your doctor about using a stool softener to ease pain during bowel movements. Stool softeners make the stool easier to pass and are generally considered safe during and after pregnancy.
Dont sit too long. Sitting for long stretches of time increases pressure on the veins in your anus. Instead, lie down as much as possible, such as when youre nursing.
Use a pillow. When you have to sit down, sit on a pillow or foam doughnut.
Get some exercise. Try to move around more, even if its just a short walk. Exercise can also help prevent constipation. Check with your doctor before you start any exercise program after giving birth.
Apply ice. A study of 200 postpartum women found that cold gel pads relieved pain during recovery and increased their comfort. Apply an ice pack for 20 to 30 minutes, several times a day. Wrap the ice pack in a cloth so that it isnt in direct contact with your skin.
No One Wants To Talk About Hemorrhoids Probably Because They’re Gross
For something that’s so common, people don’t really talk about pregnancy hemorrhoids the same way they do about morning sickness or needing adult diapers after childbirth. And many women aren’t prepared for the reality of reaching around their backside to see what’s hurting so much and touching what feels like a small bushel of grapes.
“When you read about hemorrhoids, you think, It won’t happen to me,” Brampton, Ont. mom Callie Brenshaw told Today’s Parent.
“When you’re pregnant, you’ll hear plenty about the common discomforts of pregnancy like nausea, fatigue, and heartburn. You’ll be reassured that it’s OK to be scared about labour and delivery because everything will be fine. One thing you won’t hear about? Hemorrhoids,” mom Kimmie Fink wrote in Romper.
“Maybe it’s because most people are too prim and proper to talk about buttholes.”
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Home Treatment For Hemorrhoids In Los Angeles After Childbirth
If you notice pain during bowel movements and feel swelling, you might have hemorrhoids, which are stretched and swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum. To ease any discomfort associated with hemorrhoids postpartum, soak in a warm tub and apply chilled witch hazel pads to the affected area. Your health care provider might recommend a topical hemorrhoid medication as well.
If you find yourself avoiding bowel movements out of fear you will aggravate the pain of hemorrhoids, or an episiotomy wound, take steps to keep your stools soft and regular. Eat foods high in fiber including fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and drink plenty of water. Its also helpful to remain as physically active as possible. Ask your health care provider about a stool softener or fiber laxative, if needed.
What Causes Internal And External Hemorrhoids And Simple Ways To Treat Them
Hemorrhoids are usually caused by increased pressure due to pregnancy, being overweight, or straining during bowel movements. By midlife, hemorrhoids often become an ongoing complaint. By age 50, about half the population has experienced one or more of the classic symptoms, which include rectal pain, itching, bleeding, and possibly prolapse . Although hemorrhoids are rarely dangerous, they can be a recurrent and painful intrusion. Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do about hemorrhoids.
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The Importance Of Dietary Changes
A high fiber diet that includes plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and whole grains can help prevent constipation. Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated is also important. Limit processed grains and foods as they are usually low in fiber and difficult to digest, which can contribute to constipation.
Cooking with healthy oils and using healthy oils on salads can also help keep your bowels regular. Coconut, olive and other natural oils are also a source of healthy fat which is excellent during pregnancy.
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Complications Caused By Piles
Being pregnant can be taxing on a womans body however, piles can make matters that much worse. In addition to thrombosed piles, which is often caused by straining while constipated, some women may also encounter the following complications:
Strangulated piles -This condition is typically associated with internal piles and occurs when they no longer receive blood, which can cause intense inflammation, irritation, and pain.
Anemia Although rare, piles can trigger anemia, a condition characterized by a reduction in red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood, in some women.
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