Home Remedies For Hemorrhoids
There are many steps you can take at home to relieve and prevent hemorrhoids. Here are some ideas.
- Use wipes or pads that contain witch hazel.
- Use gentle, flushable wipes when you have a bowel movement.
- Use a sitz bath or soak in clean warm water for 10 minutes at a time a few times a day.
- Take Epsom salt baths in warm water thats not too hot.
- Hold an ice pack on the area for a few minutes several times a day.
- Move around frequently and try not to sit for too long to avoid extra pressure on your anus.
You may want to speak with a doctor before treating hemorrhoids at home. This will ensure you get a proper diagnosis and understand the treatment options available to you.
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.
Why Should Pregnant Individuals Be Mindful Of Their Toilet Habits Too
Certain activities, like sitting in the toilet for an extended time, can cause hemorrhoids as well. You may be inclined to play mobile games or read while using the toilet, and time can pass by. This simple activity can lead to congestion and increases the likelihood of hemorrhoids. For this reason, it is best to limit the time you spend inside the restroom.
One of the most likely reasons for having hemorrhoids while pregnant is poor eating habits. Not consuming enough fiber and eating lots of carbohydrates may lead to developing hemorrhoids, just like non-pregnant people do. Milk and dairy products contain high amounts of calcium, which is one cause of constipation.
To avoid this chain reaction, eat right and perform regular physical activities, even minor movements .
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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.
How Are Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy Diagnosed
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are common enough that your healthcare provider will likely know that you have hemorrhoids by how you talk about your symptoms. To be sure, your provider may:
- Take a closer look at your anus. Your provider can usually spot external hemorrhoids.
- Do a digital rectal exam. Your provider may insert a gloved finger inside your rectum to feel for any internal hemorrhoids.
- Do an anoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Both procedures are simple and quick. They allow your provider to see inside your rectum.
None of the options sound pleasant, but getting a hemorrhoids diagnosis is more uncomfortable than painful. And dont be embarrassed. This is a routine diagnosis for your provider.
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Medical Treatment For Hemorrhoids
During pregnancy, always talk with your doctor before taking any medication, including those you apply to your skin . This will ensure treatments do not pose a risk to your baby.
Topical over-the-counter or prescription treatments may help hemorrhoids. These medications often include pain-relieving or anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Creams or ointments that contain hydrocortisone-pramoxine can be especially effective for reducing pain, inflammation, and itching caused by hemorrhoids. But these ingredients may not be safe for pregnancy. Make sure to discuss them with a doctor.
The doctor may also be able to recommend a safe laxative or a suppository to relieve constipation.
Some prescription oral treatments, like , are available for treating hemorrhoids, but they may not be safe during pregnancy or if youre breastfeeding or chestfeeding.
Other medical treatment options for hemorrhoids includes:
Your doctor may suggest packing the site of the hemorrhoid with absorbent bandages to avoid excessive bleeding.
You can try to reduce hemorrhoids or prevent them from developing in several ways.
When To Call Your Doctor About Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
If you experience any bleeding, be sure to see your doctor. It could be it’s the hemorrhoids bleeding or it may be an anal fissure . But it’s best to check in with your practitioner just to be safe.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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Serious Hemorrhoids Can Be Treated With Surgery
Grade 3 and 4 internal hemorrhoids grade 3 means the hemorrhoid protrudes outside the anus but can be manually pushed back in, and grade 4 is when its constantly outside the anus sometimes require surgery.
A handful of surgical options are available. One is an excisional hemorrhoidectomy, which is the surgical removal of the hemorrhoid, Dr. Narang explained. Another option is stapled anopexy , in which a doctor removes part of the hemorrhoid and then staples it back together, reducing it to a normal size, Dr. Cima said. Some doctors instead use Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation, which is a good choice for hemorrhoids that bleed a lot, Dr. Narang said. In this procedure, a doctor ties off the main arteries feeding the hemorrhoid, causing it to wither and fall off.
Although surgical procedures often work, they arent without potential downsides, Dr. Mathur said. They can have painful and longer recoveries than the office procedures and can cause fecal incontinence. Also, even after surgery, hemorrhoids can return some surgeries, such as the artery ligation, are associated with up to a 30 percent chance of recurrence, Dr. Narang said. Thats in part because these treatments remove or kill off a portion of the bodys hemorrhoidal tissue, but leave behind the rest, which can then become engorged and inflamed, Dr. Cima said. If people dont address the lifestyle factors that cause hemorrhoids, they are more likely to see their hemorrhoids return.
Procedures For Hemorrhoids Treatment
Some hemorrhoids cant be managed with conservative treatments alone, either because symptoms persist or because an internal hemorrhoid has prolapsed. Fortunately, a number of minimally invasive hemorrhoid treatments are available that are less painful than traditional hemorrhoid removal and allow a quicker recovery. These procedures are generally performed in a surgeons office or as outpatient surgery in a hospital.
Band it. The most commonly used hemorrhoid treatment in the United States is rubber band ligation, in which a small elastic band is placed around the base of a hemorrhoid . The band causes the hemorrhoid to shrink and the surrounding tissue to scar as it heals, holding the hemorrhoid in place. It takes two to four procedures, done six to eight weeks apart, to completely eliminate the hemorrhoid. Complications, which are rare, include mild pain or tightness , bleeding, and infection. Other office procedures include laser or infrared coagulation, sclerotherapy, and cryosurgery. They all work on the same principle as rubber band ligation but are not quite as effective in preventing recurrence. Side effects and recurrence vary with the procedure, so consult your physician about whats best for your situation.
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Internal Hemorrhoids In Pregnancy
Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the anus.
The main symptom of internal hemorrhoids is bright-red blood on the stool , on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement. It is usually a small amount of blood, but can look like more when mixed with toilet water.
Minor internal hemorrhoids are usually painless, but ones that are prolapsed may be painful or uncomfortable. A prolapsed hemorrhoid is when the hemorrhoid comes down through the anal opening.
What Medications Are Used To Treat Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
If constipation is making your hemorrhoids unbearable, your healthcare provider may prescribe a laxative, hemorrhoid cream, or a fiber supplement. Always check with your provider before taking any over-the-counter medications. Your provider is your best resource for making sure youre choosing options that are effective and safe.
Use Of Medications During Pregnancy
In General there are no save over the counter available medications that can be used during the pregnancy. Few that are allowed or recommended to use during your pregnancy may cause undesirable discomfort or side effects like Headache, Heartburn, Nausea, Vomiting and other unexpected conditions. You should think twice before using this medications and always sick professional advice before making any rapid decision.
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.
How To Treat Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Hemorrhoids usually get better on their own after pregnancy, but there are a number of things you can do to ease any itching and pain in the meantime:
Soak your rectal area in warm water several times a day. A sitz bath, or small basin that fits over the toilet seat, can help. These devices can be purchased at most drug stores. You can also fill your regular bathtub with a few inches of warm water to create a similar effect.
Apply ice packs or cold compresses to the area several times a day. The cold can reduce swelling and help relieve pain.
Keep the anus clean and dry. Try using moist towelettes or baby wipes to gently clean the area after bowel movements. This can be more gentle than dry toilet paper.
Be sure to pat not wipe the area dry after bathing or making a bowel movement. Excess moisture can cause irritation.
Apply baking soda to the area to alleviate itching.
Apply treatments containing witch hazel. Products like Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads can help keep the area clean and relieve pain and itching around the anus.
But before you use any products, be sure to ask your doctor or healthcare provider to recommend a topical hemorrhoid cream or medicated wipe that’s safe to take during your pregnancy.
Additional reporting by Deborah Shapiro.
Vary Your Activity Level
Sitting or standing for long periods of time places added pressure on the pelvis during pregnancy and can lead to the development or worsening of hemorrhoids. If you are required to sit at a desk for hours at a time, try to stand up every 30 minutes or so to stretch and walk around.
If, on the other hand, you need to stand on your feet for long periods of time , ask for a bar-height stool to sit on.
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The Bottom Line About Treating Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Half of women get hemorrhoids during pregnancy. That number is so high because the changes your body goes through while gestating are naturally contributing factors to hemorrhoids:
These changes are necessary for a growing baby, but bad for a body susceptible to hemorrhoids. Make yourself as hemorrhoid-proof as possible by strengthening your rectal walls with kegel exercises, staying regular with high fiber foods and plenty of water, and taking as much weight off of your pelvic floor as possible by staying active and sleeping on your side.
If you already suffer with problematic hemorrhoids, they can be treated during pregnancy with topical medicine and sitz baths to relieve your symptoms. Doctor Butlers Advanced Formula Hemorrhoid & Fissure Ointment fights symptoms while delivering healing herbs and essential oils that can keep you focused on attending to your baby and bodily needs during and after pregnancy. Be sure to discuss with your personal physician the use of all over the counter medications before using, while pregnant or nursing.
About Robert Cutler, D.O.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
You can have hemorrhoids without having any symptoms at all. If you do have symptoms, they may include:
- Pain when youre pooping.
- Itching in and around your anus.
- Intense pain from an internal hemorrhoid falling outside your anus .
- Blood on the toilet, in your stool, or on the toilet paper where you wiped after a bowel movement .
It can be scary to see blood in your stool, but therectal bleeding from an internal hemorrhoid is usually harmless. Still, see your provider about any bleeding you notice if youre pregnant.
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What Causes Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Hemorrhoids appear when pressure bears down on your pelvic area and the lower part of your digestive tract . The pressure can be so heavy that even the veins in your anus absorb the impact, so much so that they swell. During pregnancy this pressure comes from:
- The fetus. A growing fetus puts pressure on your pelvic area and bowel. The added weight from the fetus presses the veins in your anus so that they arent able to move blood throughout your body as easily as they usually do. Instead, the slowed blood trickles and pools, swelling inside your veins.
- Increased blood volume. The amount of blood in your body increases during pregnancy to support the fetus. This means that your veins have to do the hard work of moving more blood than usual throughout your body.
- Constipation. Youre more likely to get hemorrhoids during pregnancy because youre more likely to have constipation during pregnancy, too. Hormone changes in your body slow the digestion process that helps you have regular bowel movements. The extra weight from the waste stuck in your bowel can squeeze the veins in your anus so that its harder for them to move blood. Straining to poop adds even more pressure.
When To Call Your Doctor
Hemorrhoids usually resolve on their own without any complications. However, see the doctor if you have bleeding, pain, or prolapse, that is, the hemorrhoid tissue protrudes from the anus. Timely treatment could help prevent the hemorrhoids from progressing to advanced stages, letting you avoid any complications .
Hemorrhoids occur commonly in pregnant women. Several easily available home remedies could prevent a journey of pain and discomfort if rightly practiced. It is important for an expecting mother to be aware of hemorrhoids symptoms to administer the right preventive measures and seek the appropriate treatment in time.
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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.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Hemorrhoids During A Pregnancy
Once they develop, you might not be able to get rid of hemorrhoids entirely during a pregnancy.
But you can reduce the severity of your symptoms by having an appropriate diet, using a sitz bath, using cold compresses, maintaining good anal hygeine, avoiding sitting for too long, and doing Kegel exercises.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Thrombosed Haemorrhoids
Haemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the region of your bottom which can occur internally or externally. They can happen to anyone but are also fairly common during pregnancy – affecting around 35% of expectant mothers, particularly during the third trimester.
In the later stages of pregnancy, as your body prepares to deliver your new bundle of joy, the pregnancy hormone, progesterone, causes the walls of your blood vessels relax and swell up. On top of that, as your baby grows and your uterus becomes more enlarged, its increasing weight can put pressure on the surrounding areas, including your bottom, causing haemorrhoids.
Although they can be unpleasant, piles are not generally harmful to you or your baby and can be treated quite quickly.
Other common causes of haemorrhoids which may also affect you during pregnancy are over-straining during a bowel movement or when delivering the baby, constipation, and a low fibre diet.
You may find that your tastes and diet changes during pregnancy but its worth keeping in mind that eating enough fibre helps to keep stools soft, which keeps things moving through the digestive system. A low fibre diet can result in harder stools that are difficult to pass and even constipation, which in turn can lead to haemorrhoids.