When you’re suffering from hemorrhoids during pregnancy, you want the pain, itching and discomfort to go away as quickly as possible. But many moms-to-be are warned to avoid taking unnecessary medications out of concern for the baby. Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies you can use to abate your pregnancy hemorrhoids and carry on with your daily life.
Hemorrhoids, commonly referred to as piles, are inflamed or swollen veins that are found inside the rectum. Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are a common pregnancy-related complaint; however, this is not experienced by all pregnant women. Hemorrhoids are generally caused by a combination of different factors, such as constipation, pressure exerted by growing uteruses, and progesterone. The risk of hemorrhoids increase with age and subsequent pregnancies.
Though many cases of hemorrhoids can be painless, others may cause severe itching, pain, and discomfort. There are two types of hemorrhoids: Internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are not visible, but can cause serious pain, and tend to bleed frequently. External hemorrhoids are visible; they can be painful, but usually do not bleed.
Many pregnant women want to know how to get rid of hemorrhoids during their pregnancy. Fortunately, it is possible to cure hemorrhoids with some safe, easy natural remedies.
- Relax in the Tub: You can get relief from severe hemorrhoid pain by relaxing the sphincter muscle with warm water. Fill the bathtub with 3-4 inches of warm water; then, sit in the tub for 15-20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day. An easier alternative is to get a sitz bath. These tubs fit over your toilet, and help relax the sphincter while using less water. Sitz tubs are easily obtainable from pharmacies and online stores like Amazon.com.
- Smooth as Jelly: Another natural hemorrhoid treatment is the application of petroleum jelly to the affected areas. Ensure that the affected area is wiped with a clean cloth before applying petroleum jelly. This can reduce pain and inflammation significantly if done properly. It is important to remember steer clear of scented petroleum jellies.
- Keep it Cold: Cold compression is one of the most traditional and effective treatments for hemorrhoids. As effective as this method is, it can be a little messy and uncomfortable if you use ice packs. Cold relief kits like Anuice are proven to be effective.
- Witch Season: Witch hazel extract is commonly prescribed for home treatment of hemorrhoids. Witch hazel is a clear liquid available in almost all grocery stores; it is inexpensive. Apply this extract directly onto the affected area, or wipe with a soaked cloth. If this sounds like too much trouble, medicated witch hazel pads are available for purchase as well.
There is no denying the fact that prevention is the best medicine for hemorrhoids; it is very difficult to get rid of hemorrhoids once you have them. This can be done by:
- Consuming fiber-rich foods, which make bowel movements smoother and easier. While completely eliminating constipation may be impossible for some pregnant women, they should nonetheless try to prevent it, as constipation may lead to hemorrhoids.
- Avoid lifting heavy things, as this causes strain.
- Sit in one place for a long period of time.
- Do Kegel exercises regularly to strengthen the vaginal and rectal muscles. Kegel exercises will also help with delivery.
People tend to feel embarrassed about hemorrhoids, which is understandable. But depending on which study you read, up to 90% of pregnant women are known to have suffered from pregnancy hemorrhoids at some point in the process. It is thus not uncommon. Hemorrhoid remedies are numerous because it is a widely-known problem.