Pregnancy even though is a fantastic time, it is often accompanied by many hardships like vomiting, nausea, heartburn, leg cramps etc. However the gestation period becomes more strenuous if hemorrhoids also occur during this period.
Hemorrhoids are the unusually swollen blood vessels in the rectal area and the size of the swelling may range from the size of a pea to that of a grape. This swollen blood vessel may either remain within the rectum or it may protrude out through the anus. The hemorrhoids are usually itchy, painful and may even bleed at times especially during bowel movement.
In women who suffered from hemorrhoids before pregnancy the chances of recurrence is very high while some others who suffer from hemorrhoid for the first time during the pregnancy, it may subside after giving birth to the child if proper care is taken to avoid constipation. Mostly hemorrhoids appear during the third trimester when the pressure around the rectal area is more.
This is because the growing baby and the uterus exert pressure on inferior vena cava which is a vein on the right side of the body and collects blood from the legs and also on pelvic veins. This pressure slow down the flow of blood from the lower part of the body to the heart which then further increases the pressure in the veins and causes them to bulge or swollen.
Constipation also adds to hemorrhoids because when there is a hard bowel movement the patient tends to strain which increases the pressure on the veins. The increased level of progesterone during pregnancy becomes the foremost reason for constipation and it also makes the walls of the vein relaxed and makes the veins bulge easily. Clear understanding of the reasons helps pregnant women to prevent or control hemorrhoids effectively.
If you had hemorrhoids before pregnancy then in all probability it may recur during the tenure of pregnancy. Hence in these category of women it is better to take preventive measures rather than waiting for hemorrhoids to happen and then treat. The best method to avoid the occurrence of hemorrhoids is to avoid constipation for which take a diet rich in fibers like whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans are ideal.
Similarly include vitamin A in the diet because it helps to avoid hemorrhoids and vitamin A is available from carrots, green leafy vegetables and even from nutritional supplements. Drink plenty of water and practice exercises like walking or swimming to maintain the proper functioning of digestive tract and to boost up blood circulation. Kegel exercises are a best option as it increases the blood circulation towards the rectal areas and fortify the muscles there and thus avoids the chances for having hemorrhoids.
If you need to sit or stand for a long period then take breaks in every hour and move around for a few minutes. If you have to stand for a long period then sit down for a while and prop the legs often. While lying down to watch TV, read or sleep, lie on the left to promote the blood flow from the lower half of the body. Do not try to control bowel movements and take care not to strain too much and also limit the time spending in toilets as all these increases the pressure in the rectal areas.
Hemorrhoids Home Treatment
Cold compress on the affected area with an ice pack for several times in a day and this will help to relieve the discomforts of hemorrhoids. A cotton cloth soaked in cold witch hazel can also be used to compress the affected area and it reduces the swelling and pain effectively. Alternative hot and cold compress is also an ideal treatment for hemorrhoids.
Soaking the body in warm water for ten to fifteen minutes for several times a day provides relief from the hemorrhoids but soaking is warm water is not ideal during pregnancy hence experts suggest sitz bath for pregnant women. It’s a plastic basin filled with warm water and can be placed over the toilet and pregnant women having hemorrhoids can submerge their rectal areas in this water by sitting down.
Take care to avoid the hot water to raise and reach the stomach because it stresses the baby and may even cause problems to the baby. Also ensure that the areas around the anus are dried properly so as to protect the skin from the damages caused by the moisture. Always keep the rectal area clean and instead of using the normal toilet papers choose medicated wipes. Baby wipes that devoid of scent and color can also be used as it causes less irritations or a damp toilet tissue or damp paper towel is also useful.
Even wipes medicated with witch hazel are available to help people with hemorrhoids. Using the medicated wipes gently wipe the rectal areas as harsh wipe may aggravate the problem rather than soothing it. A paste made out of water and cumin seeds can be applied on the affected areas and it reduces the discomfort and pain. If you have more discomfort while having bowel movements them apply a counter pressure in between the bowel movement with a cold pack or damp tissue or medicated wipe.
If the self-relief efforts or preventive measures are not working and the discomforts are increasing or if there is bleeding after bowel movements or if the hemorrhoid is not retracting to the normal position after the bowel movement, then better consult a doctor and he may suggest medicated suppository or topical anesthetics. These creams and suppositories are safe to use in pregnancy.
In certain cases the patients requires specialized treatments to shrink the hemorrhoid and surgery is not a good option during pregnancy. Before taking any oral medications, pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs you should consult your doctor as a wrong drug may cost your child’s life. If you have hemorrhoid during pregnancy then start the treatment right there it self. Enjoy your pregnancy instead of getting anxious, stressful and embarrassed.