Certainly, there are a lot of dirty little things that pregnant women would rather not talk about. However, sometimes it’s not a wise idea to ignore an issue and hope for it to disappear. And hemorrhoids are just one of the many problems that you might face during pregnancy.
What are hemorrhoids?
Also known as piles, they are swollen and itchy varicose veins in or around your back door (rectum). These swollen vessels may bleed or sting, especially during or after defecation, which can either be mildly uncomfortable – or downright painful. They also typically range in size, from a pea-size to a grape-size anomaly that appears inside or protrudes through your anus, although you don’t have to be pregnant to experience this problem.
The most common cause of piles is constant straining during bowel movement. Other symptoms might even include some inflammation and soreness around your rectum, which can cause a heap of issues when you go to the loo. There might also be a mucus discharge after you poo or perhaps you experience the need to keep on emptying your bowels even after defecating.
Why do hemorrhoids affect pregnant women?
Pregnant women often get hemorrhoids around the middle of their second to third trimester. The enlarged uterus and the increased blood flow can cause the blood vessels in the rectal wall to swell and itch. This commonly happens to more than half of all pregnant women by the time they reach their 25th weeks of pregnancy.
Additionally, the hormonal changes during pregnancy, such as the increase of progesterone can make your rectal walls relax and your veins to swell more easily, which can lead to piles. Other than that, progesterone can cause constipation as well, by slowing down your intestinal tract. Since hard stools are difficult to get rid of, then sometimes you have no choice but to strain during bowel movement to eliminate the excreta.
If that is the case, then you should try changing your diet and lifestyle to keep your stools soft and regular. When it can’t be avoided, you can always take advantage of reliable cure for hemorrhoids available to you.
How to avoid and treat hemorrhoids?
You might be susceptible to piles during the pregnancy period, but who said that it is inevitable? For you to avoid and treat such affliction, take note of these things:
- Diet: Eat high-fibre diet (green-leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruits, etc.)
: Increase water intake (drink eight to ten glasses of water daily)
- Exercise: Regular exercise (if you are busy, you can do brisk walking daily)
: Kegel exercise (can promote blood circulation and strengthen the muscles in your nether regions)
: Keep moving and avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time.
- Treatments: Apply cold compress in the affected area
: Soak in a warm bath for 10 to 15 minutes
: Try to place witch hazel pads to your anal area
: Use alternate cold and warm therapy
: Ask your physician for other medical treatments, whether topical, suppository or otherwise. (This is vitally important, especially during pregnancy.)
Overall, piles can be very uncomfortable to have during pregnancy when you are already dealing with a lot of things brought on by your changing body. However, by preparing yourself and knowing how to deal with it, the situation will be more than manageable.