Getting pregnant is one of the most beautiful feelings, a woman can experience but it comes with its own set of issues. Hemorrhoids can be the worst of all. Being concerned and anxious about all this is very natural when you are not even able to sit or walk with all the pain and itching. But all this can be taken care of. We try to cover some important aspects here.
Here are a few common questions that can bother you with hemorrhoids
Table Of Contents
- Are you suffering from hemorrhoids? Signs and symptoms
- Are there any tests which can confirm a hemorrhoid?
- Are hemorrhoids normal in pregnancy?
- Will they go away after child birth, how long will they last?
- How does pregnancy affect hemorrhoids? – Causes
- Will it affect the baby? Are they safe for baby
- Safe and natural treatment for a fast relief
- Can this be avoided? Precautions and prevention
- When should I seek a doctor’s advice?
Are you suffering from hemorrhoids? Signs and symptoms
A lot of pregnant women suffer from hemorrhoids, especially in their first time pregnancy when they really don’t expect this to happen. Very often, it comes as a surprise to them. Hemorrhoids can occur with bleeding, pain and a lot of itching. They can feel like a fleshy, balloony blister to touch. It can be one single occurrence, with the size of a pea or they may take the form of several smaller ones.
Detecting hemorrhoids is not very tough, if you feel discomfort during your bowel movements, which may include bleeding, itchiness and pain, you need to check it thoroughly as it may be a hemorrhoid. Hemorrhoids can feel lumpy to touch, somewhat like a small pea. They can vary in sizes and can also be inside rectum and in most cases protrude through the anus.
Here are some signs you can check
- Discomfort in the form of itching and pain in the rectum especially when during or after your bowel movements
- Spotting can also be a sign. When you find blood spots it could be bleeding hemorrhoids
- Check with touch or a self examination. If you feel some kind of a lump protuding out, its a symptom.
If you feel constipated, it can certainly add to the flare ups. Pushing in labour can also worsen the situation to a good extent. Many women get them after delivery when they have to push hard. . But there are ways by which you can avoid getting hemorrhoids in your pregnancy. Most of the times it will be a case of external hemorrhoids but sometimes it can be internal as well.
Are there any tests which can confirm a hemorrhoid?
Generally, you can easily find out about them by the symptoms given above, if you are still not sure about them you can always consult a doctor who can diagnose them by simple examination. You don’t need any lab tests for this.
Are hemorrhoids normal in pregnancy?
Hemorrhoids are quite common in pregnancy.
Stages of pregnancy for occurance – trimesters
Some women may get them in first trimester itself and some may develop them in the third trimester. There is no single rule for the occurrence. You may also get them in postpartum or postnatal period after that pushing in labour. If you have them already, they may swell up even more and worsen the condition. There is a greater chance of getting hemorrhoids when you are reaching third trimester especially near your due date. Growing uterus can be one of the many reasons for this.
Medications like Epidural can help you with all the pain and you may not feel much during the delivery but hemorrhoids will be there.
If you get them during pregnancy and you are not getting much affected by them, in any way, you can leave them as it is. Some of them may fade after pregnancy.
Generally, there can be a lot of swelling, bleeding and pain involved which can make it tough for you to sit, walk or even do your work properly. All these symptoms can vary from person to person. Hemorrhoids can also re occur again and again; that is, once they are subsided, they can also get flared up again. If you suffer from any such condition, it is always better to get rid of them forever in a safe and natural way
There are many simple and natural ways by which you can take care of hemorrhoids in pregnancy and be free to enjoy your share of bliss
Will they go away after child birth, how long will they last?
In some cases, they will go away on their own after child birth. But if you think that the situation is getting worse and if pain and bleeding increases beyond a level, you have to take care of them. And if you are not careful about your diet, it may take a lot more time to go. You have to keep them in check. They should not bother you in your day to day activities.
How does pregnancy affect hemorrhoids? – Causes
Actually, there are a lot of physical changes which come to your body with pregnancy. These changes are related to weight gain, diet and hormones which makes your body more prone to conditions like external hemorrhoids.
Growing uterus can put more pressure on veins which causes them to swell up. A diet which is poor in fiber content is also a common reason for this. Some hormonal changes also contribute to hemorrhoids. There is a hormone progesterone which increase at this time
Also, when you are pregnant, your intestinal tract slows down giving you a hard bowel movement.
This can cause constipation very easily. Constipation and poor diet are number one cause for hemorrhoids.
Another factor that affects them is the pushing in labour during a natural delivery. This can worsen the situation to a good extent.
Another effect of pregnancy is varicose veins which occur because of changes in blood circulation and hormones. Varicose veins can cause hemorrhoids.
Will it affect the baby? Are they safe for baby
They should not affect the baby in any way. How ever if you intend to take any kind of over the counter medication, you should ensure that it is safe for pregnancy.
Safe and natural treatment for a fast relief
If you already have them, there are a few tips for you by which you can get a relief. You can use between different home relief treatments and see what is working best for you. In pregnancy, you have to be careful that anything you do does nt have any side effects and is very safe. Chemical based products should best be avoided. Natural remedies are not only safe, they can be very effective as well as they work on the root cause rather than bringing in the quick fix to the problem.
Many people use creams which do not really help in shrinking them, they just help in reducing the discomfort.
You can use a covered ice pack to the affected area a couple of times a day. Ice helps in reducing the swelling.
Coconut oil is one of the best oils which has a antibacterial and antifungal properties which is helpful in pain and itching. Apply oil to the area regularly for a few days to see the affect. You can use the oil in other ways as well.
Applying aloe gel to the inflamed area can bring some instant relief. You can use fresh Aloe Vera from plant leave. Just avoid anything with artificial fragrances and chemicals
Warm water sitz bath
A warm water sitz bath can also be very helpful. This includes soaking your bottom in a tub full of warm water. Adding half a cup of raw apple cider vinegar is also recommended. You can use a special sits bath tub for this, the tub is easily available in most of the medical stores. You can also order them online.
Using stool softeners can be of great help especially if constipation is one of the reasons for you. Natural softeners like psyllium husk can be used. Be careful with the quantity of these softeners or you can also have loose motions. Start slow and see how it affects your bowel movements.
You can also use hemorrhoids donut pillows or cushions to sit. If you have to sit for long hours, this is a must have. It will relieve the unnecessary pressure on your tail bone. These pillows have a hole in the middle so that pillow does not touch your tail bone.
Using pre-moisturized tissues instead of regular toilet paper is also helpful in conditions when you are having constant pain and itching. You can use natural baby wipes or witch hazel wipes. The idea is not to dry wipe the area to avoid any rashes. Use alcohol free and fragrance free tissues and pat dry instead of wipe or rub the area.
You have to keep the area clean and moisturized without letting it swell up. You can use a combination of creams, hot and cold packs, witch hazel pads and sitz baths to get yourself a relief from this.
Can this be avoided? Precautions and prevention
“I don’t really suffer from hemorrhoids bur how can I avoid it during pregnancy? I do not want all this hassle of getting all these treatments.”
Prevention is always better than cure and same is true in this case. Try taking care of your diet and make sure you get easy bowel movements. There can be other factors to it but two most important things here are keeping yourself hydrated and prevent constipation. Also long sitting or even standing for long hours can also be one of the causes which can trigger them. You can also try kegel exercises to ease out the stress in pelvic region. Kegel exercise is always a good way to strengthen muscles around your anal area.
Here are some simple ways which can help you with this –
- You must change your position every few minutes and try not to sit or stand for long hours
- Get some exercise. Exercise is good even when you are pregnant. Although these exercise should be safe for pregnancy. You can consult you doctor to know more about these exercises. Nothing too vigorous or impactful
- No high heels. Avoid wearing high heels and use flat footwear.
- When sitting avoid crossing your legs.
- Reduce your salt or sodium intake.
- Try and elevate your legs slightly when you can. This will help ease off the pressure on your legs
When should I seek a doctor’s advice?
If you have tried to take care of the situation and used some of the above mentioned home remedies and natural ways to get a relief, you should seek a doctor instead of trying to live with all the pain and discomfort.