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.
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.”
What Causes Hemorrhoids In Pregnant Women
In general, hemorrhoids can be caused by a variety of factors like straining during bowel movements, sitting on the toilet too long, the overuse of laxatives, or even lifting heavy objects. Chronic constipation and chronic diarrhea are also potential causes, mostly because of regularly straining and wiping associated with irregular bowel movements. Also, one of the reasons they affect half of people over 50 is that aging weakens the tissues and muscles that surround and support the rectum and anus.
For pregnant women, hemorrhoids tend to show up during the third trimester, when the fetus is larger and puts pressure on the pelvic floor and many of the organs of the digestive system. This pressure is especially notable on the perineum, the space between the anus and the vulva. As the fetus grows and the body prepares for childbirth, the combination of increased blood flow to the area and the pressure of the fetus weight can cause them to swell and become inflamed.
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How To Treat Hemorrhoids At Home
Once you have hemorrhoids, youre going to want to have the right tools on-hand to treat them at home. Here are some things that can help to relieve the discomfort.
Cold packs or a cold compress is the best treatment for hemorrhoids because cold therapy helps soothe the pain and irritation. You can use an ice pack or try making a padsicle which is essentially a homemade cold pack it is a frozen maternity pad filled with healing goodness that you put on your perineum for some soothing relief.
THE MAGIC OF WITCH HAZEL
Witch Hazel is a great herbal skin-soothing remedy with tannins and oils that can help reduce swelling and inflammation. It has a cooling effect and can be used to clean the area or, as a compress.
Here are our favourite ways to use witch hazel for your hemorrhoid care:
A few generous sprays of Witch Hazel Perineal Spray directly on your perineum or pad can provide immediate relief from pain, itching, and swelling.
Cotton pads that are soaked with a witch hazel solution can be folded and tucked into the folds of your bottom so they are directly in contact with the sore spot to relieve pain from hemorrhoids. Try these DIY Soothing Witch Hazel Pads.
GIVE YOURSELF A GOOD SOAK
What Causes Postpartum Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are common during the third trimester of pregnancy and one month after delivery. In a study of 280 women who gave birth, 43% had hemorrhoids. Many of these women had related conditions, such as constipation during pregnancy, and pushing for more than 20 minutes during delivery.
Hemorrhoids are caused by pressure on the veins in your rectum or anus. Veins have valves to help the blood flow toward your heart. But when these valves are weakened because of pressure, blood can pool in the veins. This makes them swell up, similar to the way varicose veins form.
Pregnant women have the additional weight of their baby sitting on their abdomen and pelvis. This makes it hard for the blood to return from the pelvis area.
Many pregnant women also have constipation, or fewer than three bowel movements a week. This can be due to:
- Hormonal changes that affect the digestive system
- Diet changes during pregnancy
- Too much iron due to taking iron supplements
- The growing baby pressing on the mothers intestines and affecting digestion
Constipation is also common after giving birth. In many women, this could be caused by a combination of changing hormones, pain medication, dehydration, or a fear of pain from their hemorrhoids or episiotomy site .
Hemorrhoids can get worse with straining and constipation. If you have hemorrhoids when youre pregnant, you’ll likely experience worse postpartum hemorrhoids.
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Pregnancy Hemorrhoids: Causes Treatment And Prevention
Unfortunately, hemorrhoids during pregnancy are common. Hemorrhoids are varicose 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 mound of skin protruding from the anus .
- Pain in the anus.
Symptoms Of Postpartum Hemorrhoids
How will you know you have hemorrhoids after labor ? Most women report discomfort around their rectum. Occasionally, the hemorrhoid is visibleit looks like a pink pea is sticking out of your bottom. Other side effects are itching, burning, and pain, says Jeanne Faulkner, R.N. They may also bleed, especially after a bowel movement.
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Sexuality Fertility And Birth Control
Your body needs time to heal after childbirth. This can take about 4 to 6 weeks, but it’s different for each woman. Avoid sexual intercourse and putting anything in your vagina until you have stopped bleeding. Your doctor will let you when it’s okay to have intercourse.
Your menstrual cycleand your ability to become pregnant againwill return at your body’s own pace. Remember that you can ovulate and get pregnant during the month before your first menstrual period, as early as 3 weeks after childbirth. If you don’t want to become pregnant right away, use birth control even if you are breastfeeding.
- If you don’t breastfeed, your menstrual periods may begin within a month or two after delivery.
- If you breastfeed full-time, your periods will probably not resume for a few months. The average among women who breastfeed exclusively is 8 months. But breastfeeding is not a dependable method of birth control. For more information, see Breastfeeding as Birth Control.
Most methods of birth control are safe and effective after delivery. But in the first couple of weeks after delivery, it’s best to use a method that doesn’t contain estrogen. Talk to your doctor about which type is best for you. For more information, see the topic Birth Control.
Postpartum Hemorrhoids And Other Pains In The Butt
Reviewed by Kimberly Langdon M.D.
One of the most common complaints after childbirth is hemorrhoids, with 28% to 48% of women reporting symptoms at 4 weeks postpartum. They are actually very common during pregnancy as well, thanks to constipation and the extra pressure on your veins in your lower half from your enlarged uterus. If you successfully avoided them during pregnancy, you still might have them after childbirth, due to straining during labor and constipation afterward. If you did have them during pregnancy, they might get worse. Heres what to expect and what you can do about them.
What are hemorrhoids?
Also called piles, hemorrhoids are sore, swollen veins that are found in your rectum. They can be internal or external . Symptoms include pain, rectal itching, bleeding after having a bowel movement, or a swollen area around the anus. Hemorrhoids occur more frequently after a vaginal delivery than a cesarean.
Whats the difference between hemorrhoids and varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged veins and can be found anywhere on your body. During pregnancy, they occasionally develop on the vulva, and referred to as vulvar varicosities. When varicose veins develop in the rectum, they are referred to as hemorrhoids.
What causes postpartum hemorrhoids?
Also, during labor and delivery, there may be a lot of pushing and straining, which can cause hemorrhoids.
How long do hemorrhoids last after giving birth?
How are postpartum hemorrhoids treated?
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Conventional Treatment For Hemorrhoids
When you go to see a doctor for enlarged hemorrhoids, he or she will look at your anus to see if its inflamed and whether the hemorrhoids come out of the anus when you push or if theyre already outside. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, there are a number of examinations your doctor may choose to perform in order to make a diagnosis. Doctors typically do a digital rectal examination first, which involves gently inserting a finger into the anus with gloves and lubricant. The doctor will feel the inside of the anal canal using circular movements, which allows him to examine the sphincter muscles and the texture of the membranes lining the anus.
If your doctor believes that you do have enlarged hemorrhoids, she will most likely perform a proctoscopy next. This involves inserting a short tube with a light and lens on it that exams the membranes lining the rectum. The doctor is looking to see if there are enlarged hemorrhoids and how big they are. People tend to fear the pain and discomfort that come with these procedures, but they usually dont hurt and do help your doctor make suggestions about how to get rid of hemorrhoids.
Most of the patients suffering from hemorrhoids have their symptoms alleviated through diet therapy, fiber supplements, hemorrhoid cream and medical treatments, such as sclerotherapy, rubber band ligation and infrared coagulation.
2. Rubber Band Ligation
3. Infrared Coagulation
4. Hemorrhoid Surgery
Physical Changes After Childbirth
The changes in your body may include sore muscles and bleeding.
- Contractions calledafterpains shrink the uterus for several days after childbirth. Shrinking of the uterus to its prepregnancy size may take 6 to 8 weeks.
- Sore muscles are common after childbirth. This is because of the hard work of labor. The soreness should go away in a few days.
- Bleeding and vaginal discharge may last for 2 to 4 weeks and can come and go for about 2 months.
- Vaginal soreness, including pain, discomfort, and numbness, is common after vaginal birth. Soreness may be worse if you had a perineal tear or episiotomy.
- If you had a cesarean , you may have pain in your lower belly and may need pain medicine for 1 to 2 weeks.
- Breast engorgementis common between the third and fourth days after delivery, when the breasts begin to fill with milk. This can cause discomfort and swelling. Placing ice packs on your breasts, taking a hot shower, or using warm compresses may relieve the discomfort. For more information, see the topic Breast Engorgement.
Call your doctor if you are concerned about any of your symptoms. For more information, see When to Call a Doctor.
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Vaginal And Perineal Problems
Soreness in the vagina and the area between it and the anus is common after delivery. You can ease the pain with home treatment. To reduce pain and heal:
- Try using ice. You can put ice or a cold pack on the area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your skin.
- Cleanse yourself with a gentle squeeze of warm water from a bottle instead of wiping with toilet paper.
- Try sitting in a few inches of warm water 3 times a day and after bowel movements.
Recovery from an episiotomy or perineal tear can take several weeks.
What Should You Know About Newborn Care
During your babys first few weeks, you will spend most of your time feeding, diapering, and comforting your baby. You may feel overwhelmed at times. Its normal to wonder if you know what you are doing, especially if this is your first child. Newborn care gets easier with every day. Soon you may get to know what each cry means and be able to figure out what your baby needs and wants.
At first, babies often sleep during the day and are awake at night. They dont have a pattern or routine. They may make sudden gasps, jerk themselves awake, or look like they have crossed eyes. These are all normal, and they may even make you smile.
You naturally develop an emotional bond with your baby simply by spending time together, being physically close, and responding to his or her cues.
Frequently Asked Questions
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What Exactly Is A Hemorroid
Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, are veins that have become swollen and engorged with blood varicose veins but in your rectum, basically. Hemorrhoids during pregnancy can either be inside the rectum or external. Hemorrhoids can cause pain, itching, and general discomfort, and make sitting super unpleasant. External ones are more likely to bleed and be itchy, while internal hemorrhoids can bleed and are typically more painful.
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If Youre Having A Bowel Movement
- Squat to do your doo. Squatting is the natural way to poo. Sitting, or worse, leaning back, pinches the intestines so your stool gets stuck. It puts a lot of pressure on the rectum. Squatting, on the other hand, lets everything relax. You can try raising your legs up and leaning forward so youre in a more squat position, or you can invest in one of these.
Here are more tips on how to have a great poop.
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How To Prevent Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Avoiding constipation is key to preventing hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Here are some tips for preventing constipation:
Eat lots of high-fiber foods. There are plenty of good ways to incorporate more fiber into your diet. Fiber-filled foods include fruits like pears , avocados, and berries vegetables such as broccoli, artichokes, and Brussels sprouts whole grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and even popcorn legumes including various kinds of beans, lentils, and green peas and dont forget nuts and seeds.
Drink plenty of fluids. Aim for 10 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
Use the toilet as soon as you feel the urge. Holding it in can contribute to constipation.
Try not to sit or stand for long periods of time. If you sit down at work, make sure to get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour. At home, try to rest on your side when reading or watching TV, to relieve downward pressure on your rectal veins.
Ask your doctor about using a stool softener. This can help if other methods fail to ease your constipation. Using laxative pills for constipation is not recommended during pregnancy, as they can cause dehydration and might stimulate uterine contractions.
Identify the right muscles by stopping urination midstream. .
Once you know which muscles to use, tighten them and hold the contraction for five seconds. Then relax for five seconds. Work up to holding the contraction for 10 seconds. Try to do at least three sets of 10 reps a day.
Risk Factors During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, various factors promote the occurrence of pregnancy thrombosed hemorrhoid, especially during the third trimester of it:
- Altering the venous return, caused by an increase in blood volume, and hormonal fertilization that causes relaxation of tissues including the vein, and the gestational uterus that presses on the pelvic area.
- Constipation due to a decrease in bowel movement, which is itself a result of hormonal changes and the weight of the uterus.
- Tissue relaxation under the influence of hormones, knowing that hemorrhoidal tissues are very rich in estrogen receptors and therefore are very sensitive to hormonal changes.
- The intense expulsion efforts during childbirth also promote the appearance of postpartum thrombosed hemorrhoids.
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What Measures Can Be Taken To Prevent Piles
Though piles tend to resolve on their own and many home remedies are available, it is better to take precaution to avoid the growth of piles.
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Dear Mommies, piles can be really painful and sometimes, embarrassing also. However, with the home remedies suggested above, you can get relief from piles. However, if the bleeding from your piles is more than a drop of blood, and the pain does not reduce with home remedies, talk to your doctor immediately.
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