Pregnancy: A Major Risk Factor for Hemorrhoids

How Pregnancy Causes Hemorrhoids

Pregnancy is major risk factor that can cause hemorrhoids in women. If you are pregnant, then it is highly possible for you to have hemorrhoids during the course of your pregnancy, especially during your third trimester.

Pregnancy increases your risk of having hemorrhoids because the pressure in your pelvic region increases as your baby develops. The increasing size of your child exerts pressure on the organs and the blood vessels that pass through in your pelvic area. This increase pressure hinders circulation to the lower part of the body, decreasing the blood flow in this area. Affected blood vessels expand or become swollen to compensate for the decreased blood flow, causing hemorrhoids.

Another way that pregnancy increases your risk of hemorrhoids is through the increased level of progesterone that occurs when you are pregnant. Progesterone slows down the smooth muscles movement of your stomach and intestines, significantly slowing your digestion. This is because progesterone inhibits the movement of the muscles found in your digestive organs, increasing the time ingested food stays in your digestive tract. Furthermore, progesterone also affects the smooth muscle cells that produce gastric acid and essential digestive enzymes such as pepsin, further slowing down your digestion.

As a result, the food you eat stays longer in your digestive tract, slowing down your bowel movement. Slow bowel movement may result into constipation, hardening your stool. Harder stools make it harder for you to defecate, causing you to strain during defecation. This constant straining, together with the increased pressure on the blood vessels in your anal and recta area, increases your risk of having hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids can also occur when you finally deliver your baby. There are conditions when you need to strain when giving birth, that may lead to the development of your hemorrhoids. When this occurs, management of hemorrhoids becomes a part of your postpartum care.

Hemorrhoids Relief for Pregnant Women

You do not have to worry if you are currently pregnant and have hemorrhoids. Your hemorrhoids will eventually resolve on their own, especially after you deliver your baby. However, you may feel pain whenever you defecate or feel irritated and discomfort, especially if your swollen hemorrhoids are near your anus. Thankfully, here are a few easy to follow home cure for hemorrhoids that you can follow to get relief from your hemorrhoids.

1. First, understand that it is likely that you become constipated during the course of your pregnancy, so you should take necessary steps to soften your stool. Try eating foods that are rich in fiber. Increase your intake of dark green, leafy vegetables, fruits and whole grain food products. Drink plenty of water and make sure you are drinking at least eight glasses of water each day. Making these changes help softening your stools, helping you avoid straining during defecation, lessening your pain and discomfort when you defecate.

2. If your hemorrhoids are near your anus, placing an icepack over them several times a day may help decrease the discomfort you are feeling. Make sure that the ice pack you use is adequately covered to avoid irritating your kin near your anus.

3. Sitz baths can also help you with your discomfort. Sit in a tube filled with warm water for a few minutes each day to help relive the swelling of your hemorrhoids. If you do not have a bathtub, squatting over a basin filled with warm water produces a similar effect. Notice that there are cold and warm treatments you can use for your hemorrhoids. Try to alternate warm and cold treatments until you find an effective treatment for you.

4. You should avoid sitting or standing for prolonged periods. Since you are pregnant, it is likely that your gynecologist has already instructed you to take this precaution because doing so greatly improves the circulation of your lower limbs. Remember that prolonged sitting or standing increases the pressure on your hemorrhoids, increasing your discomfort. Take frequent, short periods of rest and change your position frequently. If you spend most of your time sitting down, try standing up and walking around every hour.

5. Observing proper hygiene also helps in lessening the irritation and discomfort you feel. Gently clean the affected area after you pass your stools. Using water and tissue paper is recommended and avoid using scented tissue paper, wipes or similar products because they may contain substances that can further irritate or cause swelling to your hemorrhoids.

When to see a doctor about your hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are generally not severe and can be managed effectively at home using the previously discussed methods. However, if these methods do not help improve your condition then you should go ahead and make an appointment with your gynecologists. Also, if the pain you feel becomes more severe, or if your bleeding worsen when you defecate, then should seek medical attention immediately.

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