Learn About Pregnancy Hemorrhoids From The Anal Health Experts At Bespoke Surgical
Pregnancy, in general, brings a multitude of bodily and worldly changes that can be difficult for many.
Pregnancy hemorrhoids are quite common and thankfully most get better on their own. After delivery, once all the build-up pressure is gone, many hemorrhoids recede over the coming weeks or months. Speaking of delivery, some women choose a cesarean section as their preferred method to avoid the damage their pelvic floor can endure in the vaginal and anal regions.
We will go over all the anal issues as they pertain to pregnancy hemorrhoids below, but most women come to Bespoke after delivery with residual stretched skin, as well as hemorrhoids, which cause widespread irritation, pain, possible bleeding, and, more so the feelings of insecurity.
What Are Pregnancy Hemorrhoids?
Pregnancy hemorrhoids are veins that have become large and swollen located inside and outside the anus. Sometimes the skin also stretches, leading to annoying and unsightly skin tags. Hemorrhoids can occur as a result of pregnancy specifically and may appear prepartum and postpartum. Hemorrhoids and pregnancy often go hand-in-hand, so it’s important to know the causes and symptoms should they occur.
Hemorrhoids, Fissures, and Varicose Veins
Hemorrhoids, fissures, and varicose veins are similar conditions that may occur during pregnancy but have key differences. Varicose veins are large, swollen veins that can appear anywhere on the body, though mostly on the lower extremities. Meanwhile, hemorrhoids are also enlarged veins, but they specifically arise on the anus and rectum. Fissures, on the other hand, are small tears in the external skin that lines the anus.
Fissures arise mostly due to constipation, which is extremely common during the later stages of pregnancy due to the fetus literally squashing your bowels. Many anal fissures can be chronic, so if you’re struggling with this condition, please reach out to our team to learn about treatment options. They can be quite debilitating, but with a simple procedure, they can be resolved once and for all.
What Causes Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy?
There are a lot of factors that can cause hemorrhoids during pregnancy. The most common culprits are:
- Constipation and straining during bowel movements
- Increased blood flow, which leads to enlarged veins
- Added pressure on the veins near your anus
- Sitting for prolonged periods of time
What Causes Postpartum Hemorrhoids?
The causes of postpartum hemorrhoids are similar to those that occur during pregnancy. However, childbirth can increase the likelihood of this condition. The primary reasons that people experience anal issues after pregnancy are:
- Straining due to constipation after delivery
- Straining during vaginal delivery
- Changing hormones
What Are The Symptoms Of Pregnancy Hemorrhoids?
Like all hemorrhoids, the main symptoms are bleeding, pain, and itching around the anus. These symptoms can cause general soreness and trouble when passing a bowel movement. Other symptoms of pregnancy hemorrhoids are:
- Blood in stool or on tissue when wiping
- A raised area of skin near the anus
- Burning and swelling at the sight of the hemorrhoid
While there is no set duration for pregnancy hemorrhoids, the condition and its symptoms typically clear up on their own within a few weeks, but can sometimes take longer.
How To Prevent Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy & After Delivery
Having hemorrhoids during pregnancy can create additional discomfort during a time when the body is experiencing significant change, so it’s important to do everything you can to prevent them. You can try to alleviate your pregnancy hemorrhoids or prevent them from appearing altogether in several ways.
- Avoid straining when passing a bowel movement
- Drink plenty of water to keep your bowel movements regular
- Eat a diet that is full of fiber
- Avoid sitting down for long periods of time
- Positioning is important – lying on your left side throughout the later stages of pregnancy is a great way to release pressure
- Talk to your doctor about ways to supplement your diet with foods that help avoid constipation
Treating Hemorrhoids While Pregnant or Postpartum
Pregnancy hemorrhoids can be treated at home to decrease uncomfortable symptoms. Along with following the tips above, some home remedies for hemorrhoids during pregnancy include:
- Soaking in a warm bath
- Applying a cold compress
- Using over the counter medications and ointments
It is also important to note that, in many cases, hemorrhoids can clear up on their own after childbirth without any treatment.
When To See A Doctor
You should seek medical advice for pregnancy hemorrhoids if the symptoms last longer than normal, if the home remedies aren’t helping, or if there is an unusual amount of anal bleeding. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, talk to a doctor to find a safe and healthy treatment plan.
At Bespoke Surgical, we specialize in the treatment of hemorrhoids and other anal issues. Immediate relief can be achieved with the use of steroid ointments in the region and adding Advil or Motrin if approved by your OB. Hemorrhoids can take a few weeks to resolve, but the pain should improve over 3-5 days if treated appropriately. Most hemorrhoids are treated medically until postpartum, with the goal to minimize your pain and symptoms.
Additionally, there are a multitude of surgical options for complete eradication if your hemorrhoids are limiting you in any way, shape, or form. The goal is to restore both the functionality as well as aesthetics of the anus and rectum.
In addition, pregnancy hemorrhoids can be a detriment to a woman’s sexual enjoyment. Someone experiencing these issues and engaging in anal intercourse may feel uneasy or insecure. The extra skin folds that pregnancy hemorrhoids can cause can significantly affect all actions of daily living, but especially sexual feelings and potential engagement in the area.
The mental, psychosocial, and physical manifestations are real, and although one can feel ostracized, the goal of our practice, Bespoke Surgical, is to not only break down the taboos and judgments as it relates to pregnancy hemorrhoids and skin tags but also to provide both functional and aesthetic options tailored to your world. It should be easy, especially nowadays, for someone not to have to worry about their ass during defecation, as well as sexual play. Life is too short to compromise.
Learn more about our services today!
This page was medically reviewed by Dr. Evan Goldstein on November 13, 2020.