How to get rid of hemorrhoids during pregnancy phase?
Are hemorrhoids during pregnancy anything to worry about?
How to get rid of hemorrhoids while pregnant?What are the natural home remedies and the modern medical ways?
How can one avoid getting piles during pregnancy?
Hello readers, hope most of you might have heard about hemorrhoids and for a few of you, it would have happened in your third trimester of pregnancy.
Fortunately, I didn’t get hemorrhoids during my pregnancy. However, I have heard a lot of unusual experiences of hemorrhoids from my friends and relatives. So, I thought, I would write to you regarding this topic. In this article, I have written about hemorrhoids during pregnancy, its types, natural and medical ways to get rid of hemorrhoids and the preventive measures one should take to prevent it during pregnancy.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, well known as piles, are very painful, itchy and inflamed veins in the lower rectal area and anus. This is one weird side effect of pregnancy, which results in rectal bleeding during or after a bowel movement.
Types of hemorrhoids
Coming to the types of hemorrhoids, there are two main types of hemorrhoids – internal hemorrhoid and external hemorrhoid. One more type of hemorrhoid is thrombosed hemorrhoid.
- Internal hemorrhoids: This type of hemorrhoids occurs within the lining of rectum or anus. They are normally painless but if it juts out by some pressure, this can be truly painful. When it protrudes out of the anus it is called a Prolapsed Hemorrhoids.
- External hemorrhoids: This type occurs as tiny lumps outside the rectum. They are normally painful and irritating.
- Thrombosed hemorrhoids This type occurs as a blood clot inside hemorrhoid. They are normally large, painful and puffed-up lumps.
Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids
- Pain in the rectal area
- Bleeding during or after bowel movement
- Itching, inflammation or lumps around the anus
- Mucous and watery discharge from anus
- Feeling of not emptied the bowels completely
Why and when do pregnant women get hemorrhoids?
Mostly, pregnant women get hemorrhoids at the last months of pregnancy or during the labor time.
During pregnancy, our body tends to produce everything in excess. Same is the case with the blood flow. There will be surplus blood flow through the veins and in a few instances, it will pool up in parts of the body especially in the rectal area.
Moreover, the growing uterus puts an additional pressure on the pelvic veins and the inferior vena cava thus slowing down the return of blood from the lower limbs. This will contribute much pressure on the veins below the uterus resulting in the inflammation of that region.
(Info: Inferior vena cava is the largest vein on the right side of human body carrying deoxygenated blood from the lower limbs to the heart).
For few others, hemorrhoids develop during the time of labor. This is caused when women exert much effort to push the baby out. This will result in the veins in the rectal area and anus to bulge.
The other reason for hemorrhoid is straining exerted by a constipated pregnant woman. Constipation during pregnancy is usually caused by the intake of iron tablets and fewer amounts of water and fiber intake.
A hike in the hormone progesterone also plays a role in developing hemorrhoids. The increase in the progesterone hormone relaxes the walls of the veins and slows down the intestinal tract. This also results in the formation of hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
Do hemorrhoids during pregnancy affect my baby?
No worries, it doesn’t affect your baby in any way.
How to get rid of hemorrhoids during pregnancy naturally?
Here are some home remedies for hemorrhoids during pregnancy that will help you to reduce the pain and manage the hemorrhoids without many issues.
Warning: The remedies mentioned here are only to be used externally and should not be inserted into rectum or used as suppository unless otherwise mentioned.
#1. Hot Hip Bath
A warm soak is a quick relief for the pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
Simply soak in the hot hip bath (Sitz bath) for 15 minutes twice a day to relieve pain, itching, and burning. This allows to keep the rectal area clean.
Softly pat dry the area with a clean cotton cloth or soft tissue as any moisture content in that area makes the skin more irritated.
#2. Ice Cubes
Another rapid remedy for hemorrhoids is using ice cubes.
What you can do is wrap up an ice cube in a cotton cloth and apply on the affected area for few minutes.
Ice can make that region numb and thus painless. Do this few times during the day and it will reduce the swelling and pain.
#3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a wonder-working oil due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.
Dip and apply some pure coconut oil using a cotton ball on the inflamed area especially after the bowel movement. Repeat this remedy twice or thrice daily and this oil gives you a soothing relief.
#4. Almond Oil
Almond oil also works fine to cure hemorrhoids.
Dip a cotton ball into pure almond oil and apply directly on the inflamed area for two to three times daily.
Note that while sweet almond oil is safe to use during pregnancy, bitter almond oil should be avoided.
#5. Witch Hazel Solution or Pads
Has anyone heard about witch hazel solution or pads?
Witch Hazel is an astringent mixture extracted from the leaves and barks of Hazel shrub. This is used as an effective compound in many health care products, mainly to cure skin related problems.
Dip a cotton ball in witch hazel solution and place it on the affected area for two or three times daily.
Witch hazel pads are also available. Use these pads to wipe the affected area after a bowel movement.
If you don’t find witch hazel solution or pads in medical shops or supermarkets, purchase it online. It’s worth having one at home.
#6. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is an awesome plant which can be used to cure so many skin related problems.
Peel the skin of an aloe leaf and separate the gel. Apply this on the affected area twice or thrice daily.
You can also grind the gel with few drops of lemon juice and apply on the affected area.
Aloe Vera plant is an easy to grow plant. All it needs is partial sunlight and moderate amount of water.
What are you waiting for? Start growing this healing plant at your home.
#7. Lemon Juice
Extract juice from one or two lemons. Dip a cotton ball into it and apply on the infected area.
Beyond doubt, you will experience a burning sensation once the lemon juice spreads on your skin. But after few minutes you will be relieved from the burning sensation. Repeat this for two times daily.
I don’t know how many of you know the healing power of potatoes. It’s anti-irritating property brings you relief from irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
Wash a potato thoroughly (don’t peel the skin), chop it and grind it to a paste by adding water or lemon juice. Extract the juice, dip it on a cotton ball and apply.
Also including potatoes daily in one’s diet can effectively treat constipation and hemorrhoids.
Garlic, which is rich in allicin, is very effective against microorganism causing infections.
Take 10-12 cloves of garlic. Peel off the skin and crush it. Put this in 5 cups of water and boil it for 5 minutes. Make it cool and use this water to rinse the rectal area two or three times daily.
Pat dry the area after the rinse using a clean cotton cloth or soft tissues.
#10. Black Cumin Seeds
Thymoquinone, a main ingredient in black cumin seeds, are responsible for the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Make a paste out of a handful of black cumin seeds and water. Apply it on your rectal region for 10 to 15 minutes and wash it off. Repeat this remedy twice a day.
Enzymes diastase, amylase, esterase and myrosinase present in radish fight against microbes.
Make a paste out of grated radish and milk. Apply this paste on the infected area two times a day.
Include radish in your diet. The fiber content in the radish regulates bowel movement and thus help to prevent constipation.
#12. Apple Cider Vinegar
Acetic acid with the main ingredient in apple cider vinegar makes it an excellent natural cure for hemorrhoids.
Dip a cotton ball in the apple cider vinegar and apply it on the inflamed area. Repeat it two or three times daily. Don’t over use apple cider vinegar as it may cause burning in the skin or can even worsen the problem.
#13. Baking Soda
Make a paste out of baking soda and water. Apply the paste on the inflamed area. You can also make a paste out of coconut oil and baking soda.
The other way you can do is put baking soda in a tub of warm water, and sit in it for a few minutes.
#14. Tea Bags
Dip a tea bag in a cup of hot water for few seconds and apply the warm tea bag directly on the infected area. Continue doing this for 2-3 minutes.
You can also apply used tea bags. Keep the used bags in the fridge, make it cool and apply it on the affected area.
#15. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt, another wonderful home remedy for hemorrhoids.
Epsom salt is a non-eatable salt with its main ingredient as magnesium and sulfate. This salt can be used to cure various health issues.
Dissolve two handsful of Epsom salt in half a tub of warm water (hot hip bath/Sitz bath) using your hands.
Soak the affected area into the tub of water for 15 minutes. After that, wash the area with plain water. Pat dry the area using a clean cotton cloth or soft tissue.
Do it for 2-3 times per day to relieve the pain and get rid of hemorrhoids.
Buttermilk is very super effective food for hemorrhoids. Daily drink a cup of buttermilk to cure bleeding hemorrhoids.
Prunes which are rich in dietary fiber helps to ease hemorrhoid pain by decreasing constipation. Daily consume 2 or 3 prunes for easy passage of stool. Don’t eat too much for prunes in a day as it can lead to diarrhea.
Pomegranate, a rich source of antioxidants fights against microbial infections effectively.
Drink pomegranate juice daily to cure the bleeding hemorrhoids.
#19. Jambul Fruit (Black Plum)
This is a super natural fruit for curing bleeding piles. Take jambul fruit regularly in moderation to get rid of hemorrhoids.
It is best to take this fruit early morning along with honey on an empty stomach.
#20. Baby Wet Wipe
Instead of using dry toilet paper, try using unscented baby wipes to avoid more irritation of the inflamed area.
Water, the best and natural way to avoid constipation. Drink plenty of water (minimum 8 glasses per day) to keep your body well hydrated and to avoid getting hemorrhoids.
Other ways to ease discomfort are by wearing loose underwear and sitting on doughnut pillows.
I tried with most of the natural remedies but my hemorrhoid problem still exists. What to do?
Most home remedies will help reduce pain and swelling and help you complete your pregnancy without the piles affecting you much. For seriously painful, big and stubborn piles your doctor may suggest medices or surgical methods.
#1. Over-The-Counter Ointments
There are many OTC ointments available for hemorrhoids. But it’s advisable that you get a prescription from a health practitioner.
#2. Medications and Non-surgical Treatments
If your hemorrhoids that don’t cure with natural remedies or ointments get an appointment with your gynecologist. Never feel ashamed to talk about hemorrhoids to your gynecologist. Your doctor will prescribe you medication for hemorrhoids during pregnancy that are safe to take.Any surgical or non-surgical method for hemorrhoids will be considered mostly after your delivery to avoid any side effects during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, due to many restrictions, a surgery or non-surgical treatments mentioned here are most probably not used. Your doctor will recommend surgical or non-surgical methods weighing the risks, the benefits and the severity of your hemorrhoids or will ask you to wait until your pregnancy phase is finished.The following are certain types of non-surgical treatments available for hemorrhoids (mostly post delivery)
The following are certain types of non-surgical treatments available for hemorrhoids (mostly post delivery)
During pregnancy, due to many restrictions, a surgery or non-surgical treatments mentioned here are most probably not used. Your doctor will recommend surgical or non-surgical methods weighing the risks, the benefits and the severity of your hemorrhoids or will ask you to wait until your pregnancy phase is finished.
The following are certain types of non-surgical treatments available for hemorrhoids (mostly post delivery).
Here a small elastic band is placed around the hemorrhoid. This will restrict the blood supply to that area and result in the shrinkage of the piles.
Doppler-guided haemorrhoidal artery ligation
Here an ultrasound probe is used to detect an artery in the anal canal. This artery is then ligated to restrict the blood supply to that area.
Here electrical current is used to destroy the hemorrhoids. This method is safe to be done after delivery.
Here infra-red light is used to tighten the veins above the hemorrhoids to shrink it.
Here oily phenols are used to inject into the bottom part of the hemorrhoid to make it shrink and coagulate the blood inside hemorrhoid. Again advisable after delivery.
#3. Medical Surgery
Sometimes in very rare cases one should undergo a minor surgery post pregnancy. Surgery is performed if the hemorrhoid appears to be very large and doesn’t cure with medications.There are two kinds of hemorrhoid surgery
- Hemorrhoidectomy – This is a simple and no risk surgery where the surgeon cut away the hemorrhoid. After the surgery, doctors ask you to adopt a high fiber diet strictly.
- Hemorrhoidopexy- This is also a safe surgery without many risks. Haemorrhoidopexy is the stapling procedure done within the rectum using a specialized stapler. This procedure helps to avoid excessive blood supply to the hemorrhoids
How long do pregnancy hemorrhoids last?
Piles that are formed during pregnancy go away or shrink soon after delivery in most cases if you manage constipation too and also follow a well-balanced diet with proper exercise. If they don’t go you will have to consult doctor and consider medication or surgery.
Preventive measures to avoid hemorrhoids during pregnancy
Once you get rid of your hemorrhoids, the very next thing comes to your mind would be its recurrence. So, to prevent it coming back or to avoid getting it for the first time the following preventive measures can be taken during pregnancy and post-pregnancy.
- Drink lots of water
- Exercise regularly (Read: Exercise during pregnancy)
- Intake high fiber diet including fruits, veggies, chia seeds and nuts to have a good bowel movement
- Don’t stand or sit for a longer interval of time
- Avoid heavy lifting
- Avoid gaining more weight than the recommended weight
- Avoid eating spicy foods, salty foods, red meat, fatty foods, over-processed foods and caffeinated drinks
- Choose a food-based prenatal vitamin than iron tablets
- Include healthy fats such as ghee, coconut oil, avocados, peanut butter for good bowel function
- Consume more fermented foods rich in probiotics
- Squatting is the right way to poop. Now it’s everywhere western type toilet. So, do raise your legs up using a small stool and lean forward while passing stool
- Don’t delay using toilet when you get the urge to poo
- Minimize or avoid straining during a bowel movement
- Avoid sitting for a long time in the toilet
- Practice pelvic floor exercise which helps to increase circulation in the rectal area and tone up the muscles around the anus. This will help to reduce the risk of getting hemorrhoids
- Personal hygiene is very important. Clean up and dry the area gently after each bowel movement. Inflamed hemorrhoids are more prone to infection from bacteria present in fecal matter.
The good thing is that in the majority of cases, hemorrhoids during pregnancy will go away by itself once the baby is born.
With proper personal hygiene and minor changes in lifestyle, one can easily avoid getting hemorrhoids back.
Did you get hemorrhoids during pregnancy? How did you find relief from those bleeding piles?
Share with me in the comments below.