Hemorrhoids are described as blood vessels that are swollen in the rectum. They vary in size ranging from the size of a pea to that of a grape. Their locations vary as well, as there are instances where you find them protruding from the anus and on some occasions they appear in the rectum.
The feeling and the effect of hemorrhoids vary. It can be itchy, slightly uncomfortable and sometimes painful. In other occasions they cause bleeding from the rectum especially when one is having a long call or when you are having bowel movements. You can use many remedies to treat this condition. However, in serious causes, medical treatment is needed.
What Causes Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy?
Hemorrhoids tend to form and occur when one is pregnant. It is more common during the third trimester to be specific. In fact, there are some women who will attest that they experienced it for the first time when they were pregnant. This also has the implication that if you have had them before getting pregnant, then there is a high chance that you will have it once more. Hemorrhoids also develop when one is at the second stage of labor. If they do occur, then in most cases they are treated as early signs of postpartum complaints. The positive part of hemorrhoids that form when one is pregnant is that they fade once you have a baby.
When you are pregnant, you are not only prone to hemorrhoids, but also other conditions. One of these conditions is varicose veins, which occur in the legs and in the vulva. There are many reasons for hemorrhoids during pregnancy:
1. Pressure on Blood Vessels
When pregnant, the uterus grows in size putting a lot of pressure on two major blood vessels: the inferior vena cava together with the pelvic veins. This large vein has an important role of receiving blood from the lower limbs. The vein is normally located on the right side of the body. Pressure on this vein results in the reduction of the rate of blood flow from the lower part of the body towards the heart. Consequently, the veins below the uterus will experience an increase in blood pressure making them to swell or dilate.
Hemorrhoids are also more common during pregnancy because constipation is a common occurrence. This is because when one is constipating then there is a high likelihood of straining while having a long call. It is this straining that leads to hemorrhoid development.
3. Hormonal Changes
Progesterone hormone is often released when one is pregnant. This hormone has been linked to the relaxation of the blood vessels (veins) which make them to become swollen in the process. The progesterone hormone has also been found to slow down the digestion and absorption of food in the intestines, thus increasing the chances of constipation.
How to Relieve Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
1. Minimize Constipation
If you can have a way of reducing constipation then it will be a major step in dealing with hemorrhoids. This is because you will be assured of having a smooth movement of bowel which reduces straining.
To minimize constipation diet is the best approach. You need to take a lot of fiber which is found in raw fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. You should also ensure that you take at least 8 glasses of water in a day. To have a boost of fiber in your diet, add prune juice as well. Watch a video to learn more on tips to avoid constipation:
2. Avoid Remaining in One Position for a Long Time
It is always advisable that you reduce the amount of pressure on the rectal veins to increase the rate of blood flow from the lower part of the body, then relieve hemorrhoids during pregnancy. One way to do this is by taking some time to stretch and move around especially if your job requires you to sit for a long time. You should also strive to avoid standing for a long time. If pregnant, then you should take some aerobic exercise once in a while.
3. Don’t Hesitate to Have a Bowel Movement
If you experience an urge to have a long call, then do not hesitate to attend to it. You should also try to not strain when having the bowel movement. Lingering on the toilet should also be avoided.
4. Have Kegel Exercise Everyday
Kegel exercises have been found to reduce the chances of having hemorrhoids because they increase the rate of blood circulation in the rectum and its environs. In addition, it makes the muscles around the anus, the vagina and the urethra stronger.
5. Try Witch Hazel
Soak cotton pads in astringent containing witch hazel and then apply on the anal regions; this has been found to reduce hemorrhoids. When doing this, it is advisable that you change them frequently.
6. Maintain Cleanliness on the Anal Region
To keep the region clean you need to use moistened wipes rather than the dry ones. It is also recommended that you use wipes that have no perfume or alcohol. If you must use them, use the medicated ones made specifically for those with hemorrhoids.
7. Other Ways of Getting Relief
- Try applying ice pack on the area affected many times in a day.
- If you have no tub, then try soaking your bottom for a quarter of an hour in warm water every day.
- Alternate warm and cold water as a treatment.
- Contact your healthcare provider for other alternatives.
When Should You Contact a Practitioner?
You should contact a practitioner when you see that your efforts to bring the condition under control are bearing no fruits. In the event that you experience severe pain or if you experience any bleeding then you should do the same.
Hemorrhoids will greatly reduce after the baby is born for most women. However, for this to be certain, you need to have the preventive measures in place. There are instances when you will need help from a practitioner to help you in the process. Surgery is a very rare solution to the problem.