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.
What Helps Hemorrhoids When Pregnant
To ease the discomfort of hemorrhoids during pregnancy:
What To Do If You Get Hemorrhoids While Pregnant
This article was published on October 15, 2015, and was last updated on May 1st, 2019 in Hemorrhoid Banding.
While you were expecting your little bundle of joy to arrive, you may not have been prepared for some of the other aspects of childbirth, like internal or external hemorrhoids developing during or after your pregnancy. Getting hemorrhoids while pregnant is common as one of the causes is increased pressure on the rectum. In many cases, it may be unavoidable, however, there are few things you can do to diminish the risk that youll have hemorrhoids during your pregnancy.
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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.
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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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.
What Can I Do To Prevent Hemorrhoids And Varicose Veins In Pregnancy
The best way to help prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy is to prevent constipation. If you are constipated, don’t strain during bowel movements.
Steps to help prevent varicose veins are the same as those used to decrease symptoms:
Don’t stand still or sit for long periods of time.
Prop your feet up whenever possible.
Don’t wear tight clothes.
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At What Stage Of Pregnancy Do You Get Hemorrhoids
Although hemorrhoids can appear at any time, most moms-to-be get them in the third trimester, starting around week 28. Increased blood flow to the pelvic area, as well as pressure from the enlarging uterus and growing baby, can cause the veins that run through the anus to swell.
What Causes Hemorrhoids And Varicose Veins In Pregnancy
Normally, veins have one-way valves to help keep blood flowing toward the heart. Pressure or weakening of these valves allows blood to back up and pool in the veins. This causes them to enlarge and swell. Hemorrhoids result when rectal veins enlarge. Varicose veins occur when veins of the legs swell.
Many changes in pregnancy can increase the risk of hemorrhoids and varicose veins, such as:
Increased blood volume, which enlarges the veins
The heavy weight of the growing baby, which presses on the large blood vessels in the pelvis, altering blood flow
Hormone changes affecting blood vessels, which can slow the return of blood to the heart and cause the smaller veins in the pelvis and legs to swell
Hemorrhoids can get worse with pushing or straining, especially with constipation. Being overweight and having hemorrhoids before pregnancy can also make them worse. Pushing during delivery tends to worsen hemorrhoids, too.
Varicose veins tend to run in families. Sitting or standing in one position for a long time may force the veins to work harder to pump blood to the heart. This can result in swollen, varicose veins and can also worsen existing hemorrhoids. Varicose veins can also occur in a woman’s genital area.
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Internal Vs External Hemorrhoids Aka Thrombosed Hemorrhoid
Internal hemorrhoids develop inside the rectal area while external hemorrhoids develop outside, around the rectums opening. While internal hemorrhoids can go undetected with a little sensation, external hemorrhoids, also known as a thrombosed hemorrhoids, are more painful and inconvenient. Among its symptoms include:
- Painful bowel movements
According to Dr. Folch-Hayek, A thrombosed hemorrhoid is not dangerous to the baby, but it can be uncomfortable during pregnancy.
When Should You See Your Healthcare Provider
Also, always check with your provider before taking any medication for hemorrhoids while you’re pregnant. There are a lot of hemorrhoid relief products available. Keep in mind that most of these products should be used for no more than a week to avoid such side effects as skin irritation or thinning.
For many women, hemorrhoid symptoms resolve after delivery. If they persist, surgical treatment might be recommended.
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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.
How To Lower Your Risk For Hemorrhoids And Anal Fissures
Although you cant control all of the risk factors associated with hemorrhoids and anal fissures, you can employ a few strategies to lower your chances of developing them. You may benefit from:
- Consuming a diet rich in vegetables and fiber
- Drinking at least 10 glasses of water on a daily basis
- Avoiding foods that may upset your stomach
- Taking breaks from sitting down too long
If you suffer from constipation while youre pregnant, dont rely on laxative pills because some can cause uterine contractions and dehydration.
What Can You Do About Hemorrhoids
Preventing is better than curing, and the best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to eat plenty of high-fiber foods and to drink enough water always have a glass of water on the go, and dont wait until you feel thirsty. Kegel exercises, not sitting down for long stretches at once, and taking your time to have a bowel movement all help prevent hemorrhoids as well. Once you start showing signs of hemorrhoids, Witch hazel and arnica gels are both anti-inflammatory natural treatments that may help you get rid of your hemorrhoids. A semi-hot bath every day will also help fight hemorrhoids. If you have concerns about overheating during pregnancy, a sitz bath which you put over the toilet is a fantastic alternative to a whole-body bath. Herbal solutions against hemorrhoids will aid your speedy recovery.
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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What Can I Do For Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Pregnant women often have hemorrhoidspainful, itchy varicose veins in or around the anus. Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins often caused by poor blood flow.Hemorrhoids usually get worse right after delivery, then slowly get better during the postpartum period. Talk with your ob-gyn about using over-the-counter creams and suppositories. You also can try these tips to help prevent or treat hemorrhoids:
- Eat a high-fiber diet and drink plenty of liquids to help avoid constipation.
- Keep your weight gain within the limits your ob-gyn suggests.
- Get up and move around to take weight off the veins of your pelvic area. Sitting for a long time puts pressure on these veins.
- Apply an ice pack or witch hazel pads to hemorrhoids. Witch hazel helps relieve pain and reduce swelling.
- Try soaking in a warm tub a few times a day.
Will Haemorrhoids Affect My Baby
Some women are concerned that haemorrhoids might affect their pregnancy or their baby, but there is no evidence to support this. However, there is some concern that the pushing process during labour and birth can worsen your haemorrhoids. Speak to your midwife if you are concerned about haemorrhoids during your pregnancy or birth.
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Will Haemorrhoids Continue After Ive Had My Baby
In most cases, haemorrhoids go away after your baby is born. While regular treatment of haemorrhoids is encouraged during breastfeeding, it is especially important to drink plenty of water at this time to prevent constipation. If you find that your haemorrhoids do not get better even a short time after giving birth, speak to your doctor about further treatment.
How Do I Know If Its Hemorrhoids Or Something Else
Any new rectal bleeding or heavy rectal bleeding, especially in someone over age 40, should be evaluated. Hemorrhoid symptoms may include finding bright red blood on your toilet paper or seeing blood in the toilet after a bowel movement. Other common symptoms include rectal pain, pressure, burning, and itching.
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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.
What Every Pregnant Woman Needs To Know About Anal Health
Are you experiencing pain or discomfort while defecating or when you sit for long periods? You may have hemorrhoids or anal fissures, which can be a concern for pregnant women. Anal health issues during pregnancy are common, as hormonal shifts can increase your risk of developing them.
Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins in the anus and rectum. When hemorrhoids become swollen, they can cause unpleasant symptoms such as pain, irritation, and itching. These enlarged veins can be hidden inside your rectum or found under the skin around your anus.
Anal fissures are small tears in the lining of the anus. Because the anus is thin and sensitive, even a tiny tear can lead to pain, itching, and bleeding.
Although pregnancy increases your risk for these ailments, it doesnt mean you cant do anything to combat your symptoms. Below, Betsy Clemens, MD, shares what you need to know about anal health issues during pregnancy.
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Helpful Tips On How To Get Rid Of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
So far, there are two major causes of hemorrhoidsweight gain and constipation. If youre wondering how long pregnancy hemorrhoids last, Dr. Folch-Hayek OBGYN says that they start healing as soon as the cause goes away. But there are ways to get rid of hemorrhoids during pregnancy, and several things that you can do to lessen your risk or relieve the pain.
Diet and exercise
Since constipation is a primary factor for developing hemorrhoids, make sure to increase your fiber and water intake. These will help with digestion, which happens slowly during pregnancy. Exercises also help with fluid and blood circulation, as well as speed up the metabolism a little.
If pain is present, Tylenol will help alleviate it. Although it is perfectly safe for pregnant individuals, you should consult your primary care provider to know how to take this medication. Some topical creams that are safe for use during pregnancy may also help ease the pain and itching but, once again, ask your OBGYN for recommendations. Usually, what we can only do during this time is pain management, says Dr. Folch-Hayek.
Donut cushions may also provide relief. They wont necessarily treat the hemorrhoids, but they help reduce the pressure in the inflamed area and can provide pregnant individuals comfort, suggests Dr. Folch-Hayek. These soft pillows can also help if youre having discomfort after childbirth.
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What Can Pregnant Women Do To Avoid Hemorrhoids
Any of these factors, or a combination of them, can lead directly to hemorrhoid problems during pregnancy, hemorrhoids during childbirth, or hemorrhoid problems after pregnancy. The good news is, many of the good habits pregnant women are encouraged to include their daily routine will counteract these risk factors for hemorrhoids during and after pregnancy.
Avoiding constipation, which is common during pregnancy and a major cause of hemorrhoids, is an important prevention method. Pregnant women should drink plenty of water: at least 8-10 glasses per day. Prune juice can also be useful in avoiding constipation during pregnancy. High fiber foods such as fruit and vegetables and whole grain products will help with constipation as well, lowering risk of hemorrhoids.
Like constipation, delaying trips to the bathroom will also contribute to hemorrhoids during and after pregnancy by increasing the risk of a hard bowel movement. Staying on the toilet longer than necessary will also put additional pressure on the rectal area.
After checking with a doctor, regular exercise during pregnancy will keep blood circulating in the pelvic area and can help prevent the vascular pressure that contributes to hemorrhoids. Kegel exercises, which are recommended during pregnancy to strengthen the pelvic muscles, have the additional benefit of increasing rectal circulation. Changing positions regularly, a few minutes for every hour awake, is also very important for pelvic circulation.
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