Suffering from hemorrhoids during pregnancy and don’t know what to do about them? Well, here is a bit of information that can help you understand the basic causes, symptoms and treatments for hemorrhoids. Doing so would enable you to treat this problematic (and extremely painful) issue in the best possible way with few or no hassles at all.
Hemorrhoids are characterized by swollen blood vessels in the rectal area. Extremely uncomfortable and painful, these hemorrhoids can be as small as a pea or as big as a grape. They can occur inside the rectum or protrude out of the anus in certain cases. And while smaller hemorrhoids do not cause too many problems, the larger ones can cause severe problems like itchiness, pain, painful bowel movement and rectal bleeding.
Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Causes Of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Many women get hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Usually occurring during the third trimester and after delivery (mostly during the second stage of labor), hemorrhoids are twice as more likely to occur in women who have had them before.
In the case of hemorrhoids that occur during the last few weeks of pregnancy, the excess weight of the uterus would put pressure on the a vein called inferior vena cava which is responsible for receiving blood from the lower limbs. The excess pressure placed by the uterus slows down the blood circulation in the inferior vena cava. And this in turn would place excess pressure on the veins present below the uterus (including those in the rectal area) and make them swollen or extremely dilated.
During pregnancy, the female body would produce more progesterone that would relax the walls of the veins in the body. This in turn would cause them to swell easily when excess pressure is applied on them.
Progesterone produced during pregnancy can also slow down the intestinal tract, thus causing issues like constipation. Constipation in turn can cause painful bowel movements which can potentially cause hemorrhoids if you need to push too hard to relieve yourself.
Treating Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Although hemorrhoids tend to disappear on their own after delivery, in some cases, they tend to linger around long enough to create a spate of health related issues in the body. So here are some ways you can either prevent them or treat them.
Dealing With Constipation
Constipation during and after pregnancy can cause hemorrhoids. So make sure that your bowel movement remains regulated by eating plenty of fiber rich foods (that would regulate the digestive tract) and drinking plenty of fluids (that would cleanse the body off impurities and so improve digestion). This includes eating foods like beans, whole grains, oats, whole wheat bread, fruits and vegetables; and drinking plenty of water and fresh fruit juices. Alternatively, you can opt for fiber supplements or other medications to deal with constipation.
Exercising can relax the veins present beneath the uterus and thus prevent hemorrhoids. So make it a point to exercise regularly. A brisk walk for about 15 minutes every day can do wonders for your system and keep hemorrhoids at bay.
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Kegel exercises can help prevent hemorrhoids. Accordingly, these exercises would strengthen the muscles in the rectal region in addition to improving blood circulation in the same. These exercises would also help tone the uterus after birth and so would prevent the latter from placing excess pressure on the rectal veins.
Don’t sit for long hours on end. Get up at regular intervals and walk around for a while before sitting down again. Make it a point to sleep on your side as sleeping on your back would increase the pressure placed on the inferior vena cava, thereby causing hemorrhoids.
Dealing With Bowel Movements
Don’t try to hold back the urge to have a bowel movement. Doing so would place excess pressure on the rectal area and cause the blood vessels in the same to swell up. Do not strain too much during a bowel movement. And avoid sitting on the toilet for longer periods as doing so could place extra pressure in and around the rectal area.
Wiping the affected area with harsh wipes can cause skin infections in the area. This could also cause the blood vessels in the area to become dilated, thus causing hemorrhoids. It could also possibly aggravate an existing condition. So make it a point to use soft, moistened or medicated wipes to clean the affected area after a bowel movement.
Ice Packs And Hot Compresses
In cases where the swelling causes extreme discomfort and pain, it is recommended to apply ice packs over the affected area regularly. Accordingly, placing an ice pack on the affected area can help reduce the swelling and the pain that comes with it. You can also use medicated cold compresses to get relief from painful hemorrhoids.
Alternatively, you can place a hot (warm) compress on the affected area to get relief from the pain and discomfort. Another treatment involves sitting down in a tub filled with lukewarm water for about 20 minutes every day. Doing so would relax the veins present in the rectal area and reduce the swelling to a great extent.
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