Pregnancy can be one of the most beautiful times in a woman’s life. There are side effects of pregnancy that are not as favorable as carrying the developing child, however. Some issues women prefer to discuss only in whispers and dread asking about, even to their doctor. One of those undesirable side effects is pregnancy hemorrhoids.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are quite common during pregnancy as well as at any time of life for both males and females. They are caused by enlarged, swollen veins around the end of the gastrointestinal tract, at the lower rectum and anus. As they become larger, hemorrhoids can be felt by the sufferer if they slightly protrude from the anus – external hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids during Pregnancy
A pregnant patient may first realize she has hemorrhoids when using the toilet becomes uncomfortable or even painful. “Piles,” as hemorrhoids are known as in some countries, may bleed, itch, ache or feel sensitive to any touch. Because of their location on the body, many pregnant ladies suffer through pregnancy hemorrhoids and don’t discuss their concerns with anyone, although the issue is very common and can be helped by a doctor. Days, or possibly weeks after their baby is born, pregnancy piles may naturally go away by themselves.
Relieving Pregnancy Hemorrhoids
Although enlargement of the uterus and other physical changes during pregnancy cause the primary problems, diet is a common factor in all types of hemorrhoids. Constipation plays a major role. Through nutritional and lifestyle changes, the problem can be reduced and even alleviated.
Prevention and Reduction
To reduce and even possibly prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy, ensure your diet is consistently high in fiber. Include lots of whole fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
When going to the bathroom, do not strain or push too hard during bowel movements. To ease constipation and help enable natural processes to improve, get regular exercise. This improves circulation and naturally helps the body move waste through the intestinal tract.
Pregnancy piles can be more difficult to endure than when not pregnant, as mobility is often restricted and sitting and standing are uncomfortable enough near full term, without such added grief. However, if you ensure exercise steadily increases each day to a healthy level determined safe by your doctor, you can help your body operate more efficiently. In turn, hemorrhoids and their associated pain will reduce.
Avoid sitting on hard surfaces or for long periods of time, as that aggravates swelling of the piles and causes more pain. Apply ice packs as needed and take warm soaks in a tub or sitz bath. Take a stool softener to help ease passing of waste. Over-the-counter fiber supplements and hemorrhoid creams can also provide great relief.
When going to the bathroom, do not strain. Instead of cleaning yourself with rough toilet tissue, consider using baby wipes, hemorrhoid wipes or dampened toilet cloths. Hemorrhoid pads are also available for cleansing and relief.
Relief is in Sight
Pregnancy is difficult, particularly in the last months of gestation. Hemorrhoids are just another side effect that add to the list of discomforts during this “blessed time.” But no matter what, you can rest easy knowing that very soon your pregnancy hemorrhoid issue will be over. The problem is naturally solved within a few weeks of your baby’s birth, as the body returns to normal. When friends and family members excitedly count down to the day of baby’s arrival, you can enjoy those moments more, knowing that you will not just have a beautiful baby to mother very soon, but your hemorrhoid problems will also soon be over!