Pregnancy Hemorrhoids: Causes, Risks, Treatment

Will they go away on their own?

Hemorrhoids will usually go away on their own. This can take a few days to several weeks, depending on their size, location, and severity.

Occasionally, hemorrhoids form a painful blood clot. This is known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid. While these clots aren’t dangerous, they can be extremely painful. A doctor can perform a minimally invasive in-office procedure to treat this type of hemorrhoid.

A few hemorrhoids can also become chronic and last for several months or longer. Similar to thrombosed hemorrhoids, these are typically treatable by a physician.

Why are they more common during pregnancy?

Although they can appear at any time, most expectant mothers develop hemorrhoids in the third trimester, usually beginning around week 28.

The veins in the anus can swell due to increased blood flow to the pelvic area, pressure from the expanding uterus, and the growing baby.

Constipation can also cause hemorrhoids because pregnancy hormones make your bowels move more slowly. When stools are difficult to pass, the additional effort required to do so can put pressure on the veins in your lower abdomen, causing them to swell and become inflamed. Additionally, more progesterone relaxes the walls of the veins, allowing them to swell more easily, according to Dr Harris.

Hemorrhoids are more likely to occur during pregnancy if you previously had them. They can also develop postpartum because of pushing during labor.

How to Prevent Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

Avoiding constipation is key to preventing hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Here are some tips for preventing constipation:

Eat lots of high-fiber foods. There are many effective ways to increase the amount of fiber in your diet. Fruits and vegetables like broccoli, artichokes, and Brussels sprouts as well as whole grains like oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and even popcorn are examples of fiber-rich foods. Legumes like different types of beans, lentils, and green peas are also high in fiber. And don’t forget about nuts and seeds.

Drink plenty of fluids. Aim for 10 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

Use the toilet as soon as you feel the urge. “Holding it in” can contribute to constipation.

Avoid remaining stationary for an extended period of time. If you are seated at work, remember to stand up and take a brief walk every hour. When reading or watching TV at home, try to lie on your side to relieve the downward pressure on your rectal veins.

Ask your doctor about using a stool softener. If none of your other options work to relieve your constipation, try this. It is not advised to take laxatives to relieve constipation while pregnant because they can dehydrate the mother and possibly cause uterine contractions. (3).

Do Kegel exercises daily. Kegel exercises can increase circulation in the area around the rectum and strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support your rectum. You can perform Kegel exercises almost anywhere, including at home, in your car, and at work, but you must first confirm that you are isolating and contracting the proper muscles.

Identify the right muscles by stopping urination midstream. (This is strictly for the purpose of identifying which muscles we’re talking about — you don’t want to do Kegels while urinating, as this could increase your risk for a urinary tract infection). (4)

Once you are aware of the muscles you should use, contract them and hold the position for five seconds. Then relax for five seconds. Work up to holding the contraction for 10 seconds. Aim to perform three sets of 10 repetitions a day.


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