Remedies for Constipation and Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy


Constipation and Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

Hey hey! It’s everyone’s favorite topic—hemorrhoids during pregnancy! Yeah, right. Just another one of those wonderful pregnancy side effects we can all look forward to. The good news is that, in most cases, hemorrhoids during pregnancy can be treated easily and naturally at home.

Many pregnant women complain of constipation. Signs of constipation include having hard, dry stools; fewer than three bowel movements per week; and painful bowel movements.
Higher levels of hormones due to pregnancy slow down digestion and relax muscles in the bowels leaving many women constipated. Plus, the pressure of the expanding uterus on the bowels can contribute to constipation.

Also, pregnant women are highly likely to experience Hemorrhoids (HEM-roidz)-are swollen and bulging veins in the rectum. They can cause itching, pain, and bleeding. Up to 50 percent of pregnant women get hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy for many reasons. During pregnancy blood volume increases greatly, which can cause veins to enlarge. The expanding uterus also puts pressure on the veins in the rectum. Plus, constipation can worsen hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids usually improve after delivery.

Remedies for Constipation and Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

To ease the discomfort of hemorrhoids during pregnancy:
  • Soak in warm water. Fill the tub with warm water and soak the affected area. Don't put soap or bubble bath in the water.
  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Sitting puts pressure on the veins in your anus and rectum. When you can, lie on your side or stand up. If you must sit, take frequent breaks, or sit on a hemorrhoid pillow, also known as a ring cushion or doughnut.
  • Use an over-the-counter remedy. Apply witch hazel medicated pads to your anal area. Or ask your health care provider to recommend a hemorrhoid cream or rectal suppository that's safe to use during pregnancy.
Keep in mind that constipation contributes to hemorrhoids during pregnancy. To relieve or prevent constipation:
  • Include adequate amounts of fiber in your diet by eating lots of fruits and vegetables
  • Ask your health care provider to recommend a safe fiber supplement to take during pregnancy
  • Ask your health care provider to recommend a safe stool softener to take during pregnancy
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine

Do You Need to See a Doctor?


You don’t usually need to see a doctor for hemorrhoids. Natural remedies will usually take care of them in a few days.

If you’ve tried all the aforementioned remedies and pregnancy hemorrhoids symptoms persist, call your midwife or doctor.

If you have severe symptoms like more than a smear of blood, a lump on the rectum, or have rectal pain, talk to your health care provider. Surgical treatment might be recommended after your pregnancy.
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