Soon to be mothers that experience this for the first time in their lives may be surprised to discover they have hemorrhoids. However, there is nothing to fear or worry about. Hemorrhoids affect millions of people each year and can be easily treated. Usually they are just bothersome more than anything else.
Why Hemorrhoids Occur During Pregnancy?
To understand why hemorrhoids often form during pregnancy, we have to understand what they are and what causes them.
Hemorrhoids are nothing more than swollen blood vessels (veins) that happen to be located in and around the anal canal. There are numerous reasons why they form (see causes of hemorrhoids for more info), but in the most basic sense, it’s due to increased pressure or strain on the veins in that region. Therefore, with the additional weight of the baby and growing uterus, more pressure is put on the pelvic area, which in turn puts pressure on the veins below the uterus. As a result, the increased pressure in this region can cause the veins to expand and swell, causing hemorrhoids.
Constipation, another common occurrence during pregnancy, can also cause hemorrhoids to form. In fact, constipation is one of the leading causes of hemorrhoids. The reason is that passing hard stools during bowel movements is more difficult, requires more effort, and therefore leads to more strain on the veins.
While hemorrhoids can form at anytime or stage of pregnancy, they are most common during the third trimester. It is also common for them to appear after giving birth as the pushing from the second stage of labor can sometimes trigger them as well.
How to Prevent Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Although there is no way to truly prevent hemorrhoids from developing, following the advice below will definitely help minimize the chance of them occurring.
- Practice healthy bowel habits: When you feel the urge to go, make sure you don’t hold it. It is better to go as soon as nature calls. It is also recommended to not spend more time than is necessary on the toilet – but don’t rush things. Instead, simply get up off the toilet when finished. It also helps to use towelettes instead of toilet paper as toilet paper can be rough and irritate a hemorrhoid.
- Eat plenty of fiber: Fiber is very important to include in your diet as it helps reduce constipation and makes bowel movements go smoother.
- Drink lots of water: Like fiber, water also aids with digestion and helps soften your stools. Therefore, by adding more fiber and water to your diet, you will have healthier bowel movements and decrease the chance of irritating a hemorrhoid.
- Avoid prolonged sitting: It is a good idea to not spend too much time sitting in one place. Try to get up and move around for at least a few minutes every hour.
- Lie on your side while sleeping or resting: This will take some pressure off of the rectal veins and will also help with blood circulation.
- Get daily exercise: Being active helps improve blood circulation and reduces the things that cause hemorrhoids. Speak with your doctor to see which exercises are safe for you to do.
For more detailed information on preventing hemorrhoids, click here.
How to Treat Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Generally, most hemorrhoids that form during pregnancy usually begin to disappear shortly after giving birth. However, if they do appear, it is prudent to treat them so that they don’t get worse.
Below are some ways you can treat hemorrhoids during pregnancy. However, it is best that you consult with your doctor to find the most appropriate solution.
- H-Miracle System – is the #1 do-it-yourself home remedy. The system comprises of all-natural recipes and remedies that can effectively cure hemorrhoids in as little as 48 hours. This is definitely a good place to start.
- Sitz baths – are a great way to soothe your hemorrhoids and find some relief. They consist of soaking your bottom in warm water for about 10 minutes or so a couple of times per day. If you don’t have a bath tub, then you can purchase a special tub that fits over the toilet, called a sitz bath.
- Creams, Gels, & Ointments – are the typical way people treat hemorrhoids. They are used primarily for external hemorrhoids and can be a fast way to find relief from the itching and burning caused by hemorrhoids. They usually take longer than other treatments as far as a eliminating the hemorrhoid completely. However, they do provide quick relief.
In addition to treating your hemorrhoids, you should also follow the same measures that are used to prevent hemorrhoids (as mentioned previously). In this way, you will be actively treating your current hemorrhoids while also helping to ensure that new ones don’t develop.
For more ways to cure hemorrhoids, click here.
When to Call Your Doctor
It is always best to communicate with your doctor whenever you become aware of any new ailments. Nevertheless, in regard to hemorrhoids, it is particularly important to speak with him or her if the treatments mentioned above have not worked for you, or if the hemorrhoids are severe, or if you notice any rectal bleeding. It is quite common to see bleeding hemorrhoids, but the bleeding could be caused by other issues. Therefore, it is best practice to visit your doctor so you can get properly examined.