What Are Hemorrhoids And Varicose Veins
Hemorrhoids and varicose veins might seem to be two different, unrelated problems, but they are actually quite similar. And, many women, especially those in the third trimester of pregnancy, have them.
Both hemorrhoids and varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins. These veins are often in the legs, but they also can form in other parts of your body. When they form in the rectum, they are called hemorrhoids.
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.
How Do You Know You Have Hemorrhoids
Pregnant women who are suffering from hemorrhoids may experience itching, burning, uncomfortability, pain and less frequently rectal bleeding.
There can occur two types of hemorrhoids during pregnancy – internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids can cause painless bleeding, recognized by light-colored blood in your stool or on your toilet paper after wiping. Sometimes, these internal hemorrhoids can protrude.
If you feel soft swollen masses in your rectal area when wiping then you have external hemorrhoids. These can cause painful, hard lumps around your rectum.
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When Do Hemorrhoids Start During Pregnancy
Although people can get hemorrhoids anytime during their lifetime, pregnant women are more susceptible to it. They generally occur during the third trimester of pregnancy and could get stretched until after pregnancy due to extra pressure applied during birth . In such situations, simple home remedies or suggested treatments can prove effective.
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.
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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.
Symptoms Of Thrombosed External Hemorrhoids
External hemorrhoids can be felt as bulges at the anus, but they usually cause few of the symptoms that are typical of internal hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids can cause problems, however, when blood clots inside them. This is referred to as thrombosis. Thrombosis of such a hemorrhoid causes an anal lump that is
- very painful,
- tender, and
- often requires medical attention.
The thrombosed hemorrhoid may heal with scarring, and leave a tag of skin protruding in the anus. Occasionally, the tag is large, which can make anal hygiene difficult or irritate the anus. Even after such a hemorrhoid goes away, a residual skin tag may remain, and this may need to be surgically removed.
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Should I Go To The Doctor If I Think I Have Hemorrhoids
If you suspect you have hemorrhoids, mention it at your next ob/gyn or midwife appointment. Dont be embarrassedtheyve seen this many times. Its crucial to raise the issue if youve seen blood, says Zaltz, because there can be other, more serious causes of bleeding. Want to know sooner? Grab a mirror. If theyre the external kind, youll be able to see them around the opening of your anus. Internal hemorrhoids should be looked at by a doctor. Treat the symptoms Though hemorrhoids cant be cured, the symptoms can be treated until the hemorrhoids go away on their own. Brenshaws case appeared seven months into her pregnancy, and she was told to manage her symptoms until after delivery. For most women, thats the case. They probably wont completely disappear until after the baby is born, warns Zaltz.
If youre still struggling with discomfort once youve increased your fibre and water intake, Ottawa-based pharmacist Shelita Dattani suggests talking to your doctor about using an over-the-counter hemorrhoid product containing pramoxine, which relieves pain. Soaking in a bath with witch hazel or Epsom salts will ease discomfort. An OTC stool softener may also help.
Discussing hemorrhoids isnt funso even if the topic doesnt come up in your prenatal class, know that a few of the women in the group are probably struggling too. Its not a subject people openly talk about, says Brenshaw. They probably prefer to talk about their kids poops, not their own.
Tips For Managing Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Perhaps the best news about having hemorrhoids during pregnancy is that they usually improve or heal not long after the baby is born. In some cases, they can get worse or originally form postpartum as a result of pushing hard during delivery. Either way, there are numerous methods and home remedies for avoiding or easing the discomfort of hemorrhoids even while still pregnant:
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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.
What Causes Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Pressure from your enlarging uterus starting around week 25, plus increased blood flow to the pelvic area, can cause the veins in the rectal wall to swell, bulge and itch.
Constipation can aggravate, or even cause, hemorrhoids .
Hemorrhoids may also develop postpartum as a result of pushing during labor.
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How Are Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy Treated
There are several types of treatments available depending on the intensity of hemorrhoids and their types. Most hemorrhoids during pregnancy are short-term and can be eased by numerous available home remedies. However, some hemorrhoids could last until after one month of pregnancy and might require a medical approach .
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What Can Cause Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
As your unborn baby grows, your uterus gets bigger and begins to press against your pelvis. This growth puts a lot of pressure on the veins near your anus and rectum, and these veins may become swollen and painful as a result.
The increase in the hormone progesterone during pregnancy can also contribute to the development of hemorrhoids, as it relaxes the walls of your veins, making them more prone to swelling. An increase in blood volume, which enlarges veins, can also contribute to hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
Three common additional causes of hemorrhoids during pregnancy include:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Straining from carrying extra pregnancy weight
- Sitting or standing for long periods of time
Hemorrhoids are most common in pregnant women who experience constipation.
As many as 38 percent of pregnant women become constipated at some point during their pregnancy, according to research published in the journal BMJ Clinical Evidence.
One cause of constipation during pregnancy may be when the growing uterus pushes against the bowel. Iron supplements you may take can also contribute to constipation, so its worth trying to get the iron you need naturally through your diet.
Pregnancy hormones can also slow down the movement of food through the digestive tract, making constipation more likely.
Why Are They More Common During Pregnancy
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.
Hemorrhoids can also can result from constipation. Thanks to pregnancy hormones, bowels slow down during pregnancy. When stool is hard, the extra straining to eliminate it can put pressure on veins in your rectal area, causing them to become inflamed and bulge. “On top of that, higher progesterone levels cause the walls of the veins to relax and allow them to swell more easily,” said Dr. Harris.
If you had hemorrhoids before pregnancy, you’re more likely to have them during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids may also develop postpartum as a result of pushing during labor.
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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 don’t 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 Are Hemorrhoids And Whats Their Connection With Pregnancy
These are swollen blood vessels located in the rectal area and look like swollen pads in the anus or lower rectum. Such pads contain many veins and arteries.
The swollen beads vary in size and usually cause pain and itching that increase during bowel movements. Hemorrhoids tend to bleed and might be a source of anxiety in pregnant women.
These lesions cause pain and discomfort when sitting or walking. It may even be difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Hemorrhoids can be of two types and well discuss them below.
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There Are Some Procedures That Can Be Done:
Rubber-band ligation: A small rubber band placed around the base of hemorrhoids. The band will stop the flow of blood into the hemorrhoids and eventually the hemorrhoids will fall off. This usually takes around 10 to 12 days.
Sclerotherapy: A solution is injected directly into the hemorrhoids which causes them to shrink and to form scar tissue.
However, these procedures are rarely required as lifestyle modifications alone can reduce the symptoms of hemorrhoids in pregnant women. If the symptoms are intolerable then seeking expert counsel is advisable.
At Home of Healing Surgical Center, our team led by Dr. Rengan deals with many pregnant patients reporting with piles. We will ensure that all possible non surgical methods will be tried to treat piles before prescribing surgery.
We will also make sure that no major illness or disease is missed while starting your treatment. If you have noticed blood in your stool or are having discomfort while defecating, do feel free to pay us a visit so we can guide you on the best course of action.
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.
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Apply Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many uses in keeping your skin healthy, and helping skin fissures heal quickly is just one of them.
Although there is no scientific research on using apple cider vinegar for hemorrhoids, there is evidence that it helps reduce inflammation and kills bacteria. Research published in journal Medscape General Medicine found that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar kills off various strains of bacteria.8
To use apple cider vinegar to get rid of hemorrhoid, dilute equal parts of raw apple cider vinegar with water. Soak the mixture in a cotton ball and apply to your anal area for quick relief from the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids. Use the apple cider vinegar hemorrhoid remedy every time after you use the bathroom.
Home Treatments For Hemorrhoids
There are several things you can do to treat your hemorrhoids at home:
- Apply ice. Wrap ice or a cold pack in a cloth and apply for about 10 minutes. If you had a hospital or birth center delivery, you may have been given postnatal ice packs to bring home.
- Ask your doctor about over-the-counter treatments. Topical ointments and suppositories may provide relief. Discuss how long its acceptable to use a product . Only use a product approved by your healthcare provider. This is exceptionally important if youve had an episiotomy or tear.
- Clean the area gently, but thoroughly. Use a peri-bottle filled with warm water. Rather than using dry toilet paper, pat the area with a wet wipe. Hemorrhoid pads that contain witch hazel are often recommended, as well.
- Lie down as much as you can. Take the pressure off your backside.
- Take Tylenol or Motrin . Both are safe painkillers for breastfeeding mothers in the recommended dosages.
- Try a sitz bath. If you dont already have one, you can purchase one at the drugstore. Sitz baths can be done several times a day. Alternatively, you could simply soak in the bathtub.
- Use unscented and dye-free hygiene products. This includes toilet paper, menstrual pads, etc.
- Add fiber to your diet. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and other foods with fiber. Fiber helps to increase bowel movements.
If you want to speed things along, there are a few other things you can do in addition to your home treatments:
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How Can I Get Rid Of Them On My Own
Most cases of hemorrhoids resolve on their own, but there are several things you can do to speed healing time and reduce discomfort.
Here are a few natural remedies thatre safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding:
- Avoid straining. Straining during a bowel movement puts more pressure on your rectal area. To give yourself time to heal, be mindful not to push, strain, or bear down when sitting on the toilet. Try to let gravity do most of the work.
- Add fiber to your diet. Dietary fiber helps to soften your stool while also giving it more bulk. A high-fiber diet can help treat and prevent constipation, which makes hemorrhoids worse. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated also helps to prevent constipation.
- Soak the area. Soothe pain and irritation by soaking the area in warm bathwater for 10 to 15 minutes, two to three times per day. You can use your bathtub or a sitz bath.
- Keep the area clean. Keeping your anal area clean will help to prevent any additional irritation that might get in the way of the healing process. Rinsing the area with warm water should be enough.
- Use moistened wipes. Moistened wipes are gentler than dry toilet paper. Opt for fragrance-free wipes to avoid any irritation.
- Apply a cold pack. Use a clean ice pack or cold compress to reduce painful swelling. Just make sure to wrap it in a towel or cloth before placing it directly on your skin.
These treatments include: