Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

If you experience hemorrhoids during pregnancy, know that they are fairly common. If you've are unfortunate enough to get them during your first pregnancy, chances are that you will experience them during every subsequent pregnancy.

Facts about Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are blood vessels that have become unusually swollen

They are found in the rectal area

They can be itchy as well as painful

They can cause rectal bleeding

They can protrude through the anus

Because of your growing uterus during pregnancy, the excess pressure that is placed on your pelvic veins causes them to become more dilated and swollen.

Ways to Gain Relief

Ice packs - applied to the affected area can diminish swelling and discomfort.

Soaking in a warm bath can alleviate symptoms.

Alternating between ice packs and soaking in a warm bath can be helpful.

After each bowel movement, use soft, unscented tissue to gently, but thoroughly clean the affected area. Moistening the tissue can help as well.

Use medicated wipes like Tucks which are designed for people with hemorrhoids.

Ask your doctor to recommend a topical anesthetic or medicated suppository that is safe during pregnancy.

Avoiding Hemorrhoids

Drink lots of water and eat a high-fiber diet so that you don't get constipated.

Participate in regular exercise even if it's only going for short walks.

When you gotta go, you gotta go, don't try to hold it in or strain when you do have a bowel movement and don't sit on the toilet when you're done because that can add pressure to the area as well.

Try Kegel exercises to increase your circulation of the rectal area and strengthen the muscles around the anus.

Don't sit or stand for long periods of time, get up and move around to take the pressure off your rectal veins and increase the flow of blood to the lower half of your body.

If you've tried everything that you know and you still don't experience any relief, you should call your doctor. You should also notify your doctor if you experience any rectal bleeding. Take heart in knowing that for most women your hemorrhoids will dissipate once you've delivered your baby.

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