Translated from Latin, “hemorrhoids” mean “bleeding”. This disease causes swelling and inflammation in the rectal blood vessels. Acute pain completes the picture. All social strata are exposed to the illness, and women suffer from it more often than men. Unfortunately, hemorrhoids are common among expectant mothers. So, let’s consider the treatment of hemorrhoids during pregnancy in detail.
Hemorrhoids while pregnant: the main causes
Pregnancy is a natural condition for any woman, and it’s not in itself the reason for hemorrhoids. A whole number of changes the female body is going through create favorable conditions for rectal disorders.
The causes of hemorrhoids during pregnancy divide into predisposing factors and triggers.
The predisposing factors of hemorrhoids while pregnant are:
- The presence of such a disease in the family;
- Pregnancy after 30.
The main factors, triggering hemorrhoids during pregnancy, are:
- The growing uterus is pressing on the pelvic blood vessels. The veins in the rectum are dilating; the disruptions in the blood flow cause them to swell. Acute hemorrhoids during pregnancy are especially common in the third trimester because the fetus is actively growing at this stage.
- The uterus puts pressure on the intestines, messing up its functioning and causing problems with defecation. The digested food stagnates, gets tough, and injures the rectum and its blood vessels. In this case, hemorrhoids during pregnancy are a result of constipation.
- At the early pregnancy stages, a future mom is usually leading a quite active lifestyle and doesn’t face such a problem. In the middle and closer to the end of pregnancy, a woman requires more rest which causes stagnation in the digestive system and the blood flow in the lower half of her body.
- The food cravings during pregnancy can also affect the digestive system. Salty and spicy food increases the blood flow to the intestines, and eating it often leads to the bad circulation of lymph and hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
The types of hemorrhoids during pregnancy
Doctors discern a few types of hemorrhoids. According to the location of hemorrhoid lumps, there are internal and external hemorrhoids. When a soon-to-be mother has external hemorrhoids, its lumps can be noticed near the anus and there are frequent bleedings. The dilated veins inside the rectum walls are called internal hemorrhoids. The internal type of the disease is quite hard to detect because of vague symptoms.
Speaking about the severity of the disease, medical experts refer to the chronic and acute hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids in the acute form cause enormous discomfort and can interfere with the normal course of pregnancy. Such a severe condition can result in serious complications, including inflammation of the pelvis. High body temperature and swelling in the groin are also unpleasant side-effects of the acute hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
In the chronic form, the symptoms of hemorrhoids during pregnancy are triggered by external factors, for example, unhealthy eating habits or physical stress.
The signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are a delicate problem but their symptoms can’t be misinterpreted for anything else. Pregnant women usually experience the following signs of hemorrhoids:
- Discomfort in the rectum area – pain, burning, and itching. The sensations become more intense while you are sitting, walking, or engage in minor physical activities.
- The lumps come out when you have a bowel movement. Sometimes it is accompanied by severe pain.
- External hemorrhoids during pregnancy cause bleeding during bowel movement. In severe cases, the blood is trickling out of the rectum.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy shouldn’t be ignored. If you feel the symptoms, speak with your healthcare provider immediately. The diagnostic examination is absolutely painless and safe for the future mother and the fetus. As a rule, a competent expert is able to assess the situation after a visual inspection.
It’s very important to turn to a doctor immediately after the first symptoms of hemorrhoids during pregnancy. The childbearing process makes your body very vulnerable!
The aftermath of hemorrhoids for the pregnant woman
The disease itself doesn’t pose a threat to a future mom or her baby. But the aftermath is far more dangerous.
- Rectal bleedings can lead to anemia, and, as a result, the fetus won’t get enough oxygen;
- Inflammatory processes cause toxins to enter the blood system of the fetus, so there is a high risk of giving birth to an infected baby.
That’s why when a future mother spotted a hemorrhoid lump she should immediately consult a doctor and start a course of treatment. An experienced medical expert will prescribe medications and recommend a healthy diet and exercises.
The treatment for hemorrhoids during pregnancy
The course of treatment for hemorrhoids your doctor will prescribe depends on the symptoms and type of the disease. According to the medical examination findings, the patients are divided into 3 groups:
- Hemorrhoids without pronounced symptoms;
- Acute hemorrhoids;
- External hemorrhoids when the lumps have become visible outside the rectum.
The treatment of hemorrhoids during pregnancy in patients who belong to the first group is mostly preventive measures: exercises, massage, diet, and increased attention to hygiene.
For patients with the acute form of hemorrhoids while pregnant, conservative therapy is prescribed. In this case, doctors recommend ointments or suppositories.
Remember, you’d better use the medications recommended individually for you by your physician! Don’t put your health and the health of your unborn child in jeopardy!
The third group of patients suffering from the most severe type of hemorrhoids accompanied by bleedings needs to have the lumps removed. Modern medicine has made it possible to do so without surgery, with the help of a laser or sclerotherapy. If the expectant mother is getting better after drug treatment, the procedure of hemorrhoids removal will take place after childbirth.
Preventive measures against hemorrhoids while pregnant
In order to prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy, your gynecologist can prescribe a course of preventive measures. You can’t change your family medical history or age. But a special diet and active lifestyle can help to avoid hemorrhoids while pregnant.
Keep to the diet!
To prevent the stagnation of blood and the formation of hemorrhoid lumps in the rectum, you should, first of all, normalize your digestive tract function. The diet will easily take care of it.
Which products should you eat?
- Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes;
- Apples, raisins, dried apricots and plums;
- Cereals – barley and oatmeal are good for the intestines;
- Honey – it’s a natural antiseptic.
The products you should avoid (because they lead to constipations) are:
- Alcohol and fatty food;
- Spicy and canned food;
- Beans and unripe fruit;
- High-fat dairy products and pastry.
The preventive measures against hemorrhoids during pregnancy include adding exercises to your usual daily activities. Ask your doctor for recommendations in that matter. And don’t forget that you are not supposed to feel any pain or discomfort while doing exercises during pregnancy. Pay attention to your state of health – stop immediately and have a rest if you feel any unpleasant sensations.
Hemorrhoids after childbirth
The cases when a woman got hemorrhoids after childbirth are widespread. The lumps appear because of hard labor during the delivery of the baby or due to the weakening of the intestine on the background of the hormonal changes.
The types of the disease, preventive measures against it, and ways of treatment are the same as during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a very important period in the life of any woman. Physiological and hormonal processes in the female body can cause such troubles as hemorrhoids during pregnancy. What should you do in such a situation? Follow medical recommendations and don’t practice self-treatment.