13 April

Hemorrhoids during pregnancy

Priya is in her 8th month of pregnancy. She called me the other day and was worried as she saw some blood in her stools. I told her, not to worry. It could be hemorrhoids.

What is Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the rectal area. They typically range in size from as small as a pea to as large as a grape, and they can develop inside the rectum or protrude through the anus. They can be itchy and uncomfortable and sometimes painful too and they can cause bleeding during bowel movement.

They are more common during pregnancy due to the following reasons

- Pregnancy hormone progesterone which causes the relaxation of the veins and this causes the veins in the lower limb and the veins in the rectal area to dilate.

-Progesterone also causes slowing down of the pregnant women’s digestive system. This is good for the baby as all the nutrients are better absorbed by the baby, but it can also cause constipation in the mother. Constipation can further aggravate hemorrhoids as the mother would tend to strain during bowel movements.

Symptoms

  • Hemorrhoids can cause bleeding during bowel movements and can be itchy and uncomfortable.
  • They may also get thrombosed due to the formation of a clot inside it and may become painful

After listening to this, Priya was apprehensive. I told her - Priya - The good news is - Most of the hemorrhoids developed during pregnancy go away after delivery provided the women takes care not to get constipated. Taking more fiber in the diet and drinking water can help in constipation and in turn help with hemorrhoids too. Avoid sitting or standing in one place for a long time. This can put pressure on rectal veins

Applying an ice pack to the affected area several times a day and sitz bath ( soaking your bottom in a tub of lukewarm water for 10 to 15 minutes) after every bowel movement can help. Keep the area clean and if the bleeding continues and if it is associated with pain. Please consult your doctor.

Last modified on Thursday, 02 August 2018 15:57
Dr Padma

Dr Padma is a Family care physician and is the Founder and CEO of MedHealthTV.

www.medhealthtv.com

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