Hemorrhoids are unfortunately a common problem during pregnancy that can cause a great deal of discomfort. Hemorrhoids are swollen varicose veins that appear in and around the rectum, usually in the third trimester. Here’s some information about hemorrhoids during pregnancy and ways to treat them. You should also speak with your Jacksonville gynecologist about their suggestions for prevention and treatment.
What Causes Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy?
- One of the main causes of hemorrhoids is constipation. The pressure of straining to have a bowel movement can lead to hemorrhoids. Many pregnant women experience frequent constipation due to an increase in progesterone. This hormone essentially slows down the intestinal track, making it difficult to go to the bathroom.
- Another cause of hemorrhoids for pregnant women is the added weight of your growing uterus. This adds pressure on the rectum and perineum. It can also decrease your circulation, causing swelling in the veins and leading to hemorrhoids.
- If you stand or sit for prolonged periods of time, experience frequent bouts of constipation or diarrhea or have a family history, you may also be more likely to develop hemorrhoids while pregnant.
What are the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy?
Unfortunately, having hemorrhoids while you’re pregnant is pretty common. It’s estimated that about 35% of pregnant women will develop them. Each woman’s symptoms can vary and can range in severity. Here are some of the most common signs of hemorrhoids. Talk to your Jacksonville gynecologist or OBGYN if you’re experiencing any of these signs and symptoms during your pregnancy.
- Blood in your stool or on toilet paper
- Itching in anal area
- Painful bowl movements
- Noticing a hard lump around your anus
How Can I Prevent Getting Hemorrhoids When Pregnant?
There are some steps you can take to help you avoid getting hemorrhoids during your pregnancy. One of the best pieces of advice is to try to avoid becoming constipated. You can do this by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of fluids and making sure you’re getting enough fiber. Staying at the healthy weight your Jacksonville OBGYN has suggested during your pregnancy can also help you avoid getting hemorrhoids.
Treating Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy
Sometimes, even when you do your best to avoid them, you may still develop hemorrhoids while you are pregnant. Here are some ways to treat them and make yourself more comfortable.
- Take a warm bath with baking soda to soothe irritation.
- Apply baking soda to the affected area to help reduce itching.
- Apply witch hazel to reduce bleeding and swelling.
- Use OTC medicated hemorrhoid pads or creams, such as Tucks or Preparation H.
- Use ice packs to reduce swelling and discomfort.
- Try to stay active and avoid sitting for long periods of time.
- Practice good hygiene to keep area clean.
Contact a Jacksonville Gynecologist to Discuss Hemorrhoid Treatment Options
The good news is that if you have hemorrhoids during your pregnancy, they’ll probably go away after delivering your baby. If you’re pregnant and experiencing pain and discomfort from hemorrhoids, speak with your Jacksonville gynecologist at North Florida OBGYN of Jacksonville Beach about ways to treat and manage your symptoms. Call (904) 247-5514 to schedule an appointment today.