The fact is more than 35 percent of pregnant women said that they suffered from hemorrhoids during pregnancy. However, not everyone is comfortable talking about it. Be aware that you can prevent or treat this condition easier in the early stage. So, read on to get the answer of all the questions you are wondering about hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
Signs of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids develop when your veins around the anus area become swollen due to the pressure, caused by the weight of your pregnant uterus. It tends to show up either in your first or last trimester. In the second trimester, most women tend to have constipation due to hormonal changes. On top of that, in the third trimester, your heavy uterus puts pressure on nearby veins, causing tiny clumps of blood vessels in and around the rectum to bulge. All of that can increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids. But, don’t worry too much! In fact, about 50 percent of adults experienced the symptoms of hemorrhoids by the age of 50. Fortunately, they are also treatable and external hemorrhoids are the most common and most troublesome of all.
The Symptoms and Causes of Hemorrhoids
Although hemorrhoids are annoying, they aren’t life-threatening and often go away on their own, even without treatment in some cases. Here are the most common symptoms of hemorrhoids:
- Irritation and pain around the anus
- Fecal leakage
- Painful bowel movements
- Bleeding after having a bowel movement
Also, you might develop hemorrhoids from childbirth if you experience extended straining during the second stage of labor. On top of that, experts aren’t sure what causes hemorrhoids to develop. However, there are still some possible factors that cause hemorrhoids like:
- Straining during a bowel movement
- Complications from chronic constipation
- Sitting for a long time, especially on the toilet
- A family history of hemorrhoids
How to Prevent Hemorrhoids
Exercise But Avoid Heavy Lifting
Doing exercises regularly to prevent becoming constipated and don’t sit for long periods, especially on hard surfaces. But, remember that one way to prevent hemorrhoids is to minimize straining which includes avoiding heavy lifting. Plus, you should use the restroom as soon as you feel a bowel movement coming on to prevent hemorrhoids from developing.
Having a Fiber-rich Diet
Along with that, constipation in pregnancy can also be caused by the lack of fiber. To alleviate the strain of constipation, we recommend changing your diet. Finding a good diet during pregnancy can be quite tricky. Consuming foods that are rich in fiber can decrease the risk of having hemorrhoids in the future. Good dietary fiber sources like oatmeal, peas, and carrots. Fiber helps create bulk in the intestines, which softens the stool, making it easier to pass.
Along with foods that are rich in fiber, you should drink plenty of water too. Drinking enough water can keep your stool from hardening.
Take to Your Doctor When You Notice the Signs
If you suspect you have hemorrhoids, mention it at your next appointment. Don’t be embarrassed! If you have the external kind, you’ll be able to see them around the opening of your anus. On the other hand, internal hemorrhoids should be checked by doctors.
Home Remedies for Hemorrhoids
Using Warm or Cold Water to Ease the Pain
To minimize pain, you can try to relax by taking a warm bath for at least 10 minutes every day. Also, sitting on a warm water bottle is a great way to relieve the pain of external hemorrhoids. Or, using a cold compress on your anus can help reduce hemorrhoid swelling. If the pain is unbearable, ask your doctor before using any medications or creams.
Avoid Using Soap and Rough Toilet Paper
Practicing good hygiene by cleaning your anus with warm water during a shower every day is necessary. But, don’t use soap, as it can aggravate hemorrhoids. Besides, you should avoid using any dry or rough toilet paper when you wipe after a bowel movement.
If you don’t want to increase your fiber intake in an easy and fast way then this one is for you. However, remember to check with your doctor before taking this. And, if you’re constipated, you can also use a fiber supplement to help soften your stool.
With proper treatment, you’ll likely experience an improvement in no time. Following your doctor’s directions and regimen, including doing exercise. Doing that not only reduces the hemorrhoid symptoms but also improves your outlook. If the hemorrhoids don’t bother you, then it’s ok to practice some tips to prevent them and wait until they go away!