Growing a human being is undoubtedly a wonder, but for many women, it certainly has its downsides. When pregnant, there is a lot of commiserating about the ailments that come along with pregnancy; nausea, fatigue, weight gain, etc. Comparing stories about pregnancy and labor is a form of nostalgia for most women. The conversation usually ends with don’t worry, it is all worth it once you hold your beautiful baby. Although that may be true, we don’t tend to reminisce about pregnancy hemorrhoids. Who really likes to talk about their backsides anyway? Fortunately, here at Dr. Perryman’s office, we do. We know how important it is to maintain a healthy hiney! We talk about hemorrhoids on a daily basis and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. We all have butts and most likely you or someone you know has suffered hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
You are not alone!
Did you know that according to the NIH (National Institutes of Health) up to 35 percent of pregnant women will suffer from pregnancy hemorrhoids? During pregnancy, increased progesterone levels can cause constipation in expecting mothers, particularly in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy. The increase in progesterone cause the walls of the veins to relax, which increases swelling. This combination of constipation, swelling and a growing uterus adds pressure to the inferior vena cava and hemorrhoids can become a common and quite unpleasant side effect of pregnancy. During labor, all that pushing and pressure can also cause a hemorrhoid to flare up. So, while giving birth is magical, it can also be a serious pain in the bottom.
If you experience painful bowel movements, swelling near your anus, notice blood in the toilet or when you wipe, you might have hemorrhoids. It is important to note, however, that although hemorrhoids are usually the cause of rectal bleeding, it’s not the only cause. A board-certified colon & rectal medical doctor should be seen to properly diagnosis your condition.
What can you do to treat hemorrhoids during pregnancy?
Here are recommendations from the American Pregnancy Association that can potentially help reduce pregnancy hemorrhoid symptoms:
- Increase your dietary fiber and liquid intake
- Ask your physician about a stool softener
- Stay active. Don’t sit for too long
- Take a warm bath
- Use witch hazel to reduce swelling or bleeding
If you are suffering from hemorrhoids after pregnancy, focus on these same measures to relieve your hemorrhoids, as well. These conservative methods can help alleviate symptoms in most patients. If the hemorrhoid symptoms persist, you should see a board certified colon and rectal specialist to prevent more serious complications like painful thrombosis and prolapse of the hemorrhoid.
For more information on hemorrhoid types and treatments, visit our Web site’s section on hemorrhoids at: https://coloradocolonandrectalspecialists.com/hemorrhoids-treatment/.
You just created life, you should be able to enjoy your own. Speak up, tell us about your hemorrhoids and also, congrats on that baby!