Hemorrhoids in Pregnancy
Guide To Piles For Pregnant Women

Hemorrhoids Pictures of Hemorrhoids

Treating Hemorrhoids In Pregnant Women

Hemorrhoids in Pregnancy

Contents

What Are Hemorrhoids?
What Are The Symptoms?
How Are They Diagnosed?
What Is The Treatment?
Which Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy?



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What Are Hemorrhoids?

A mild medical condition, hemorrhoids are clusters of dilated or swollen veins located around the anal area (image). Also called piles, hemorrhoids are a form of varicose veins (see pregnancy varicose veins). They are particularly common in people who suffer from constipation and are a frequent problem in pregnancy. Pregnant women are prone to developing hemorrhoids because they are more likely to suffer from pregnancy constipation and increased abdominal pressure due to a growing uterus. Hemorrhoids are more common in the third trimester. They are also common in the postpartum period after birth, developing for example, after a woman pushes down during the second stage of labor. The good news is that hemorrhoids which appear during pregnancy or labor often disappear naturally within 3 months of delivery.

What Are The Symptoms?

The classic sign is blood passed with a bowel movement. In many cases however bright red blood may only appear on the toilet paper rather than in the bowl. Sometimes there may be itching around the anus. Mostly hemorrhoids are not painful unless blood clots have formed. External hemorrhoids appear as purple bulges protruding from the anus. Internal hemorrhoids are not visible but may be suspected if blood is passing with the stool.

How Are They Diagnosed?

Usually hemorrhoids are diagnosed based on symptoms. It may be confused with anal fissure, another common condition which results from rectal bleeding and pain. As treatment for both conditions is the same, no particular danger can result from confusing them. However, always ask your doctor to check rectal bleeding as it can signal a more serious condition such as colon polyps or cancer. Your doctor or OB/GYN will listen to your symptoms and carry out a visual inspection of the anus area. He may use a lighted tube such as a proctoscope or anoscope to aid his vision. This may be slightly uncomfortable, but the procedure will only last a few minutes.

What Is The Treatment?

Natural treatments and home remedies for treating hemorrhoids include:

• Cooling the area with an ice pack, this will help reduce swelling.

• Use a sitz bath. Available at most pharmacies, a sitz bath is a small plastic basin which you fill with water and position over the toilet basin. Use it to soak your bottom in warm water for 10 minutes a day. Soaking in the bath is another alternative - also useful for those suffering back pain while pregnant.

• Wipe the affected area with witch hazel or petroleum jelly.

• Clean the area using a peri-bottle, a special plastic squirt bottle available in most pharmacies, after each bowel movement.

• Gently pushing hemorrhoids back into the anus can give some relief.

• If constipation is a factor, consider using a bulk stool softener.

• Some women advocate sitting on a hard surface, or in the yoga position, to take weight off the pelvis.

• You can take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for temporary relief, even when breastfeeding (but avoid using aspirin or products containing aspirin - see aspirin during pregnancy).

• Practicing Kegels exercise can help prevent or reduce the effect of hemorrhoids. See, what are pelvic floor exercises? As well as, how do you do pelvic floor exercises?

• Contrary to some internet reports, there is no evidence that vitamin B6 will clear up hemorrhoids. For more on looking after your health, see our prenatal care guide.

Which Hemorrhoid Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy?

There is little evidence to support that any of the well advertised gels, creams and suppositories which claim to cure hemorrhoids actually work. Some products may even cause allergies or other side effects. Pregnant women should always check with their doctor before using any over the counter hemorrhoid remedy. Medicated pads soaked with witch hazel under the brand name Tucks is one popular treatment and generally considered safe during pregnancy. Another popular treatment is Preparation H, which contains phenylephrine, a vasoconstrictor which makes the veins smaller. Preparation H comes in an ointment, cream, hemorrhoidal gel and suppository form. Anusol, another non-prescription medication, comes in the same format and is considered safe.

  Related Articles on PREGNANCY HEMORRHOIDS

For more signs and symptoms, see the following:

Dizziness While Pregnant
Pregnancy Cramps
Morning Sickness
Paternity Test While Pregnant

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