Hemorrhoids are a painful condition featuring swollen veins in or around the patient’s rectum and anus. Pregnant women, along with elderly people, are one of the most vulnerable risk groups. Affected patients typically report pains, itching and discomfort in the anus area. A bowel movement can be accompanied with bleeding, which is seen by blood traces in the faeces.
Pregnancy is an important period of a woman’s life, and a quite busy one. Getting hemorrhoids is an unnecessary annoying problem and should be avoided by any means. Fortunately, the condition often has a short-term nature in this case and brings no serious hazards for such an expectant mother and her fetus. During labor, however, pushing can aggravate hemorrhoids, which typically disappears quite soon after the delivery.
Causes of Hemorrhoids in Pregnant Women
As the fetus grows, the uterus also gets bigger in size. Ultimately, it starts to press against the pelvis. This means the pressure exerted on veins located in the area of rectum and anus increases significantly. As a result, the blood vessels get swollen and sensitive.
Another factor adding to the condition is that progesterone hormone levels increase during pregnancy, which relaxes walls of the blood vessel thus facilitating swelling of the latter when exposed to higher pressure. The fact that pregnancy involves straining due to carrying extra weight only adds to the condition.
Sitting for longer periods of time is a known hemorrhoids-provoking factor. During pregnancy, women tend to lower their activity so the risk increases. Another common factor to consider is straining to urge bowel movements. It is even more important when it comes to pregnant women because they often suffer from constipations.
Given numerous inconveniences related to hemorrhoids, prevention is of primary importance. The first and foremost recommendation is to avoid constipations by any means, which is the most popular risk factor. In this respect, the mechanism is the same whether you are an expectant mother or an elderly person. Your options to avoid the problem include the following:
- Shift your dietary patterns towards foodstuffs rich in fiber. This substance promotes proper digestive tract performance and makes stools softer. Vegetables, fruits and berries, whole grains, Brussels sprouts and many other choices can help.
- Drink plenty of water, at least 2 liters daily.
- Don’t hold it in when you feel the urge to visit the toilet. This is important to avoid constipations.
- Sitting or standing still for longer periods of time exerts extra pressure on veins in the anus area thus provoking hemorrhoids.
- Do Kegel exercises. Make them your daily routine to stay fit during your pregnancy. The exercises improve blood circulation in the pelvic and rectal area and strengthen relevant muscles.
While hemorrhoids tend to pass after delivery, it is advisable to put prevention to the first place. Such an approach can help avoid the unnecessary problems and make your pregnancy a pleasant period of life.