Hemorrhoids in pregnancy: prevention and treatment

Hemorrhoids are not an unknown but often embarrassing problem for many pregnant women. Almost one in ten of the 3,500 MomaSquad surveyed suffered from the small, painful “lumps” during their pregnancy. But why do hemorrhoids appear during pregnancy? And what can you do to prevent and relieve symptoms?

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are usually small nodular vascular enlargements in the anal area. So-called internal hemorrhoids are rather harmless because they are swollen blood vessels above or in the anal canal that rarely cause symptoms. If they continue to swell, they can be pushed outwards by pressing hard and can then also be felt around the anus. In this case one speaks of external hemorrhoids, which often itch, hurt and burn uncomfortably.

Hemorrhoids in pregnancy

According to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, it is a misconception that hemorrhoids form overnight. They have usually developed over several years without causing any symptoms. However, pregnancy promotes training and an existing haemorrhoidal disease can become even worse:

  • Pregnancy hormones cause weaker connective tissue and dilated blood vessels. In addition, the growing uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels in the rectum. All this means that the blood return no longer works properly and existing hemorrhoids can enlarge due to the blood congestion.
  • Your digestive system works more slowly during pregnancy. As a result, many pregnant women suffer from constipation . Straining when you have a bowel movement can push hemorrhoids outward.

postpartum hemorrhoids

Some women also struggle with hemorrhoids after giving birth. If you push hard during childbirth, the nodules can be pushed out of the anal canal. However, they usually regress some time after pregnancy.

Prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy

In order to prevent vasodilatation during pregnancy, you should above all build a healthy diet and exercise into your day.

  • For regular digestion, your body needs a lot of dietary fiber from whole grain products, fruit and vegetables. You should also drink enough fluids – at least two liters a day.
  • Even light exercise stimulates intestinal activity, but you should not overexert yourself. Just try our yoga program for pregnant women , it’s fun, relaxing, provides exercise and relieves some discomfort.
  • If you feel lumps around the anus after a bowel movement, you can try to push them back. It’s easier with a hemorrhoid cream. Be careful – some ointments contain substances that are dangerous for pregnant women, such as cortisone, bufexamac or lidocaine. So be sure to talk to your doctor or midwife.

Relieve symptoms of hemorrhoids with home remedies

The nodules usually go away on their own, but until then, there are a few tricks that can help alleviate the symptoms:

  • A lukewarm hip bath with oak bark or chamomile as an additive helps against the itching. Make sure that the water is not too hot and that you do not bathe for more than 15 minutes so as not to aggravate the symptoms.
  • Raw potato slices also have a beneficial effect. Place the freshly cut slices directly on the knots for 20 minutes. Alternatively, an ice pack wrapped in a kitchen towel can help against itching and burning.
  • Finished preparations with witch hazel (witch hazel) support the regression and healing of the irritated tissue.

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