Hemorrhoids occur when the blood vessels around the rectal area become unusually swollen. They can range in size from the size of a raisin to the size of a grape. They can be feel itchy or sometimes they can be extremely and in severe cases can lead to rectal bleeding – especially during a bowel movement.
Hemorrhoids are fairly common during pregnancy and generally if you have had haemorrhoids in previous pregnancies then there is a good chance that you will get them in subsequent pregnancies. It is also not uncommon for them to develop during the second stage of labor – the pushing stage.
In most cases they will go away on their own, or with a few simple measures. Otherwise they should disappear post pregnancy as your body returns to normal.
Why are hemorrhoids common during pregnancy?
Your growing uterus puts pressure on the pelvic veins and the inferior vena cava and this can slow the return of blood from the lower half of your body. This increases the pressure on the veins below your uterus and may cause them to become more dilated or swollen.
Another common cause is constipation, which is also common during pregnancy. This is because the strain caused by passing bowel movements while constipated places additional pressure on the blood vessels in the rectal area.
One of the main factors though is that progesterone , which is a hormone whose levels increase during pregnancy , causes the walls of your veins to relax, allowing them to swell more easily in order to cope better with the increase in blood volume during pregnancy.
Getting Relief From Hemorrhoids
- Apply an ice pack (with a soft covering) to the affected area several times a day
- Soak your bottom in warm water, in a tub or a sitz bath
- Gently but thoroughly clean the affected area after each bowel movement using soft, unscented, white toilet tissue. Moistening the tissue can help aswell
- Ask your healthcare provider to recommend a safe topical anesthetic or medicated suppository
Avoid getting hemorrhoids
Though you’re more susceptible to hemorrhoids when pregnant, they’re not inevitable! Here are some ways to ward them off — or get rid of them if you do get them:
- Avoid constipation
- Don’t wait when you have the urge to have a bowel movement, try not to strain when you’re moving your bowels
- Dont linger on the toilet, because it puts pressure on the area
- Do Kegel exercises daily
- Avoid sitting or standing for long stretches of time
If have tried what we listed above to relive the pain, or if you are experiencing rectal bleeding then you must consult your healthcare provider.