Pregnancy, constipation and hemorrhoids tend to come as a set; moms-to-be often complain about both problems. Whether you’re newly pregnant or about to pop, you may want to know how you can prevent, relieve and resolve these uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous issues.
Why Does Constipation Occur During Pregnancy?
Constipation can occur any time an individual’s diet is disrupted — and what disrupts a diet more than pregnancy cravings? The body is using nutrients differently during pregnancy, which can lead to imbalances and dehydration, both of which can cause constipation. As an additional problem, the baby is putting weight on all of your internal organs, which can make bowel movements difficult to begin with.
Constipation during pregnancy can be reduced through a high-fiber, high-water diet — but that is not a cure-all, because hormonal fluctuations may still cause some constipation issues. Compounding the problem, most medical and herbal laxatives can’t be taken during pregnancy, so serious issues with constipation may require medical assistance.
How Do You Get Hemorrhoids during pregnancy ?
Both pregnancy and constipation may cause hemorrhoids or make it worse. Constipation may cause hemorrhoids because you may strain to have a bowel movement while on the toilet. Straining is always bad. It puts unnecessary pressure on the blood system in the anus and may cause hemorrhoids. If you already have internal hemorrhoids, straining may also cause them to begin to protrude — turning them into external hemorrhoids, which can be much more difficult to deal with.
Hemorrhoids don’t just occur because of constipation, however — they can also occur directly because of the pregnancy itself. During pregnancy, the uterus increases in size to accommodate the baby. This does two things. It pushes on the major vein within the anal cavity, which can cause expansion, and thus hemorrhoids. But it also sends “relaxation” hormones to the lower parts of the body, so that the entire abdominal area can grow and relax. These relaxation hormones can also relax the muscles that support the anal cavity, which can then also lead to the internal or external protrusion of hemorrhoids.
Relieving Constipation and Hemorrhoids
Medical issues during pregnancy can be very difficult to treat because you need to treat them non-medically: any medication may have the potential to harm your fetus. Natural remedies for constipation and hemorrhoids are the best solution to these problems.
For relieving constipation, high-fiber, high-water diets and gentle, herbal laxative teas are the best solution. Never strain yourself on the toilet. If your constipation lasts longer than a week, consult your doctor.
For hemorrhoids, constipation should be dealt with first. Internal hemorrhoids are natural during pregnancy — 90% of women will experience them. There may be some bleeding, which you should monitor to make sure that it does not get any worse. External hemorrhoids can be gently pushed back into the anal cavity by either yourself or a doctor. They should also be monitored for excessive bleeding.
Cold and warm compresses can be used to relieve the discomfort associated with these hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids may itch and burn a little, but they should not be painful — if they are, you should consult with your doctor.
While constipation and hemorrhoids may both be uncomfortable, they don’t represent a serious risk to yourself or your baby. Constipation and hemorrhoids are, to some extent, a natural part of pregnancy, and they can be dealt with using natural, gentle methods.