Stay Regular And Eat Plenty Of Fiber
Constipation is a huge contributor to hemorrhoid flare-ups. People having difficult bowel movement tend to strain, which can cause hemorrhoids. The best way to avoid constipation is to make sure your diet consists of fibrous foods. If you want a crash course in high fiber diets, check out a previous post of mine on a High Fiber Diet for Hemorrhoids.
What foods are best for hemorrhoids? The Mayo Clinic recommends eating lots of fruits and vegetables and to ask your health care provider for a safe fiber supplement to add to your nutritional intake. You can visit the Mayo Clinic FAQs on hemorrhoids and pregnancy here.
Solutions You Can Try At Home
Leigh Raviv, WHNP-BC, is a womens health nurse practitioner serving women in New York City.
Hemorrhoids are veins that have become swollen and engorged with blood . Many women experience them for the first time during pregnancy or the postpartum period for several reasons, including a rush of hormones, internal pressure, and constipation.
They can range from irritating to quite painful, but the good news is that for the most part, hemorrhoids arenât serious. Most tend to go away with attentive home treatment.
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Why Are Hemorrhoids More Common During Pregnancy
Some people are predisposed to them, but for most women, hemorrhoids are more common during pregnancy. One reason is that moms-to-be frequently find themselves dealing with constipation. The straining causes blood vessels to become swollen, says Candice Wood, MD, an assistant clinical professor at the University of Arizona and Banner University Medical Center Phoenix. In addition, higher progesterone levels cause the vessels to relax and swell.
During pregnancy, a womans blood volume will also increase significantly, by about 50 percent. That means theres more circulating blood and fluid inside the veinsso the veins are bigger just from being pregnant. Exacerbating matters is that blood flow from the lower half of the body tends to be sluggish and obstructed because of the enlarged uterusand a growing baby puts even more pressure on the blood vessels. The weight of the baby and uterus on the rectum helps push hemorrhoids out. Thats why when moms-to-be have hemorrhoids, they tend to have the worst symptoms late in the third trimester. And guess what? Youre not the only one suffering silently back there: Almost all women have hemorrhoids during pregnancy to a greater or lesser degree, Minkin says.
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Are Hemorrhoids Different During Pregnancy
No one likes to talk about them, but hemorrhoids are a fact of life for many people, especially during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids are simply veins inside or outside of your anus that have become large and swollen.
Also called piles, they can look like varicose veins when outside your body. Hemorrhoids develop frequently during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester and during and shortly after childbirth.
You may have hemorrhoids only during pregnancy, or you may have them at other times of your life as well.
The causes of your hemorrhoids may be unique to pregnancy. You can often treat or prevent hemorrhoids with home-based remedies and lifestyle adjustments.
There are two types of hemorrhoids:
- internal hemorrhoids, which are inside of your body
- external hemorrhoids, which are outside of your body
Your symptoms may vary depending on which type you have.
hemorrhoid symptoms during pregnancy
Generally, you will experience these symptoms with external hemorrhoids. You may have no symptoms with internal hemorrhoids.
You may also develop a blood clot in an external hemorrhoid. This is known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid. They are generally hard, inflamed, and more painful.
Its possible to push out an internal hemorrhoid when having a bowel movement. If this occurs, you may experience bleeding and discomfort.
Up to 50 percent of women develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
Apply Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many uses in keeping your skin healthy, and helping skin fissures heal quickly is just one of them.
Although there is no scientific research on using apple cider vinegar for hemorrhoids, there is evidence that it helps reduce inflammation and kills bacteria. Research published in journal Medscape General Medicine found that the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar kills off various strains of bacteria.8
To use apple cider vinegar to get rid of hemorrhoid, dilute equal parts of raw apple cider vinegar with water. Soak the mixture in a cotton ball and apply to your anal area for quick relief from the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids. Use the apple cider vinegar hemorrhoid remedy every time after you use the bathroom.
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Apple Cider Vinegar Sitz Bath
Apple cider vinegar can be easily found in your kitchen and it benefits are different. This liquid not just causes you battle a few sorts of microorganisms, diminish glucose level, get more fit, ensure your heart, and avert growths, however it additionally supports you treating hemorrhoid productively.
Sitz bath is the method where a patient sits in the lukewarm water to lessen the pain in the anal region.
This quickens the healing process of hemorrhoids, and relieves symptoms like itching, irritation, and minor pain associated with hemorrhoids.
- Fill half of your bath tub with warm water. The heat of the water should be bearable.
- Add some apple cider vinegar to the water, used for the preparation of sitz bath.
- Sit in this water for about 20 minutes.
- It increases the blood flow to your bottom region, and speeds up the recovery process.
- For best results: You can do this treatment after every bowel movement.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
External hemorrhoids are characterized by pain and/or itching near the affected area. They sometimes could bleed if wiped or strained. Internal hemorrhoids symptoms vary depending on their types.
- First-degree hemorrhoids are marked with bleeding without a prolapse.
- Second-degree hemorrhoids can be seen protruding while defecating or straining.
- Third-degree hemorrhoids are prolapsed hemorrhoids but can be pressed back.
- Fourth-degree hemorrhoids are completely prolapsed hemorrhoids and cannot be put back inside.
In all of the above types of internal hemorrhoids, the passing of blood during defecation is a common symptom . Besides these, other common symptoms for both internal and external hemorrhoids include:
- Stool coated with blood
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Add Sweet Potato To Your Diet
Sweet potato is known for its laxative properties. It is rich in fibre and low in fat and cholesterol ideal for pregnant women looking for ways to prevent piles.. If you are not a diabetic, eat some sweet potato daily, to get a good dose of Vitamin C and amino acids, both of which can aid digestion. Bear in mind though, that eating more than 100 grams a day may lead to bloating, obesity and increased levels of sugar in the body.
How To Treat Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Hemorrhoids usually get better on their own after pregnancy, but there are a number of things you can do to ease any itching and pain in the meantime:
Soak your rectal area in warm water several times a day. A sitz bath, or small basin that fits over the toilet seat, can help. These devices can be purchased at most drug stores. You can also fill your regular bathtub with a few inches of warm water to create a similar effect.
Apply ice packs or cold compresses to the area several times a day. The cold can reduce swelling and help relieve pain.
Keep the anus clean and dry. Try using moist towelettes or baby wipes to gently clean the area after bowel movements. This can be more gentle than dry toilet paper.
Be sure to pat not wipe the area dry after bathing or making a bowel movement. Excess moisture can cause irritation.
Apply baking soda to the area to alleviate itching.
Apply treatments containing witch hazel. Products like Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads can help keep the area clean and relieve pain and itching around the anus.
But before you use any products, be sure to ask your doctor or healthcare provider to recommend a topical hemorrhoid cream or medicated wipe that’s safe to take during your pregnancy.
Additional reporting by Deborah Shapiro.
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What To Do With External Hemorrhoid Bleeding
Bleeding with external hemorrhoids is a normal symptom. As external hemorrhoids swell, the anal tissue is stretched. This causes the tissue to become thin as it stretched. Further irritation to the external hemorrhoid, such as having a bowel movement, can lead to bleeding.
While bleeding from external hemorrhoids is not a cause for concern, it is important to make sure that you have been checked by your medical provider. Because other sources of anal bleeding can be very concerning, make sure that your hemorrhoids have been determined to be the source of bleeding.
Drink Fluids In Between Meals
Drinking water is one of the best healthy habits to start during pregnancy but it can also aid digestion.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommend pregnant women drink between 8 to 10 glasses of water a day however, you may find that drinking water in between meals, rather than with your meals, can help fight pregnancy heartburn.
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Causes And Contributing Factors
Caused by strained bowel movements, hemorrhoids related to pregnancy may also be affected by increased pressure on rectal or anal veins because of biological changes in the pelvic area. When constipation combines with added pressure in the area between the anus and vulva and rectum, discomfort from the resulting inflammation tends to be more noticeable. Standing for long periods of time can also be a contributing factor. It’s estimated that nearly half of all pregnant women will have issues with constipation at some point, explaining why hemorrhoids are often associated with pregnancy.
Be Active And Exercise Regularly
The key to good health is being active and exercising on a regular basis. The same applies to pregnancy. Kegel exercises and muscle building exercises are extremely effective in providing relief from piles during pregnancy. However, please consult your physician before practising any form of physical exercise.
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Dont Make Things Worse
Bump up the fiber. It softens your stools and makes them move through your body more easily. Youll find it in beans, whole-grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruits and veggies. You may also want to try a supplement if you cant get enough from foods. Add fiber slowly to help avoid gas and bloating.
Drink lots of fluids. Stay well hydrated to keep stools soft so theyre easier to pass. Water is the best choice. Drink plenty throughout the day. Prune juice is a natural laxative and can help you go.
Exercise regularly. Even brisk walking 20-30 minutes every day can help keep you from getting stopped up.
Breathe! Keep the air moving in and out when youre working hard. Its common to hold your breath as youre pushing, pulling, or making an effort and that can lead to hemorrhoid pain and bleeding.
Use a pillow. Sit on a cushion instead of a hard surface. It will ease swelling for any hemorrhoids you have. It may also help prevent new ones from forming.
Take breaks. If you must sit for a long time, get up every hour and move around for at least 5 minutes.
What Causes Postpartum Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are common during the third trimester of pregnancy and one month after delivery. In a study of 280 women who gave birth, 43% had hemorrhoids. Many of these women had related conditions, such as constipation during pregnancy, and pushing for more than 20 minutes during delivery.
Hemorrhoids are caused by pressure on the veins in your rectum or anus. Veins have valves to help the blood flow toward your heart. But when these valves are weakened because of pressure, blood can pool in the veins. This makes them swell up, similar to the way varicose veins form.
Pregnant women have the additional weight of their baby sitting on their abdomen and pelvis. This makes it hard for the blood to return from the pelvis area.
Many pregnant women also have constipation, or fewer than three bowel movements a week. This can be due to:
- Hormonal changes that affect the digestive system
- Diet changes during pregnancy
- Too much iron due to taking iron supplements
- The growing baby pressing on the mothers intestines and affecting digestion
Constipation is also common after giving birth. In many women, this could be caused by a combination of changing hormones, pain medication, dehydration, or a fear of pain from their hemorrhoids or episiotomy site .
Hemorrhoids can get worse with straining and constipation. If you have hemorrhoids when youre pregnant, youâll likely experience worse postpartum hemorrhoids.
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Effects Of Hemorrhoid Cream During Pregnancy
Witch hazel Salve hemorrhoid cream is one of the best cream to use during pregnancy on your itching hemorrhoids. This natural hemorrhoid cream helps in soothing any type of rectal itching or irritation. As it contains olive oil and other natural extracts it can be bit greasy and you might stain on your cloths, but all this negative points can be ignored looking at the relief it gives in your hemorrhoid pain.
You can apply this hemorrhoid cream during pregnancy twice i.e during night before going to bed and in the morning so that you can have itching free day.
When Should You Get Medical Treatment For Hemorrhoids
You might want to see a doctor before treating hemorrhoids at home. Thatll make sure you get a perfect diagnosis and understand the proper treatment options available for the problem. During pregnancy always speak to your doctor before taking any medication, including those you can apply to your skin. Thatll make sure treatments dont pose a risk to your baby.
Your doctor might be capable to recommend a safe laxative or a suppository to relieve constipation. And witch hazel might also be a treatment for hemorrhoids but always talk to your doctor about this first.
Some prescriptions for an oral cure, like hydramine trusted source are available for treating this problem, but they might be not safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Tropical treatments available over the counter or by prescription might help hemorrhoids, but they might not be safe for pregnancy. Ensure to discuss them with your doctor.
These topical medications might include pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
Medical Hemorrhoids treatments in the third trimester:
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What Else Can I Do To Get Relief
- Use an ice bag to the afflicted area a number of times a day. Ice may help decrease swelling and discomfort.
- Soak your bottom in warm water in a tub for 10 to 15 minutes a few times every day.
- Try alternating cold and warm treatments.
- Carefully but completely tidy the afflicted area after each defecation using soft, unscented, white bathroom tissue, which causes less irritation than colored, aromatic ranges.
- Dampening the tissue can help, too. Numerous women discover using premoistened wipes more comfortable than using toilet paper.
- Ask your healthcare specialist to suggest a safe topical anesthetic or medicated suppository. There are numerous hemorrhoid-relief products on the marketplace, however consult your specialist before trying one by yourself. Most of these products ought to be used for no more than a week. Continued use can cause a lot more inflammation.
Consume Bananas On A Regular Basis
Bananas offer great benefits when pregnant. This wondrous food is not only a rich source of folic acid, potassium and vitamin B6, but also extremely beneficial for the development of the foetal nervous system. Rich in fibre and a good source of pectin-a kind of fibre that effectively manages the food in the digestive tract bananas should be consumed on a regular basis to prevent piles during pregnancy.
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How Can I Get Rid Of Them On My Own
Most cases of hemorrhoids resolve on their own, but there are several things you can do to speed healing time and reduce discomfort.
Here are a few natural remedies thatre safe to use while pregnant and breastfeeding:
- Avoid straining. Straining during a bowel movement puts more pressure on your rectal area. To give yourself time to heal, be mindful not to push, strain, or bear down when sitting on the toilet. Try to let gravity do most of the work.
- Add fiber to your diet. Dietary fiber helps to soften your stool while also giving it more bulk. A high-fiber diet can help treat and prevent constipation, which makes hemorrhoids worse. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated also helps to prevent constipation.
- Soak the area. Soothe pain and irritation by soaking the area in warm bathwater for 10 to 15 minutes, two to three times per day. You can use your bathtub or a sitz bath.
- Keep the area clean. Keeping your anal area clean will help to prevent any additional irritation that might get in the way of the healing process. Rinsing the area with warm water should be enough.
- Use moistened wipes. Moistened wipes are gentler than dry toilet paper. Opt for fragrance-free wipes to avoid any irritation.
- Apply a cold pack. Use a clean ice pack or cold compress to reduce painful swelling. Just make sure to wrap it in a towel or cloth before placing it directly on your skin.
These treatments include: