Pregnancy and Hemorrhoids

Pregnancy hemorrhoids occur frequently enough that they are considered a normal part of pregnancy. Hemorrhoids, whether occurring as pregnancy hemorrhoids or at other times, are varicose (swollen) veins of the rectum and are usually painful. Pregnancy hemorrhoids usually show up during the third trimester if you are going to experience them.

What causes pregnancy hemorrhoids?

Pregnancy hemorrhoids are related to constipation. During pregnancy development there will be an increased level of pressure on your rectu and perineum. Combined with constipation, this increased increased pressure is the main factor for why women experience pregnancy hemorrhoids. Prolonged standing may also be a factor contributing to hemorrhoids.

How can you treat pregnancy hemorrhoids?

The good news is that pregnancy hemorrhoids usually improve after the baby is born. In the meantime, there are a number of things you can do to treat hemorrhoids. Any one or more of the following may help relieve hemorrhoids:

  • Place baking soda (wet or dry) on the area to reduce itching
  • Take a warm bath with baking soda in the water
  • Use witch hazel to reduce swelling or bleeding
  • Avoid sitting for long periods
  • Use Tucks Medicated Pads

How can you prevent pregnancy hemorrhoids?

The best thing to do during pregnancy to prevent hemorrhoids is to avoid getting constipated. If you are constipated, avoid straining during bowel movements. Try the following to prevent constipation:

  • Eat a high fiber diet
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Drink prune juice
  • Do not delay going to the bathroom
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

ALWAYS check with your health care provider before taking any medication for hemorrhoids.

Last Updated: 09/2008

Compiled using information from the following source:

Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy Harms, Roger W., M.D., et al, Part 3.

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