Pregnancy is a beautiful journey for most women except for the part where hemorrhoids come to play. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your anus and lower part of your rectum, and they're pretty common during pregnancy. Do not panic! They can be treated with the right creams or ointments.
What Causes Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy?
Hemorrhoids usually occur due to constipation, which causes you to strain while passing stool. The added pressure from carrying a child also contributes to this condition.
During pregnancy, there are hormonal changes that happen inside your body; these hormones cause blood vessels to relax and increase in size, leading to hemorrhoids.
Pressure on Pelvic Blood Vessels
Apart from hormonal changes causing enlarged blood vessels in the pelvis area during pregnancy, the weight of the baby puts extra pressure on those already-expanded blood vessels—leading them directly into sprouting their own brood of hemorrhoidal delights!
Most people don't know when they have piles unless someone tells them! However, here are some signs you should watch out for:
- Burning sensation after bowel movements
- Itching around anal region
- Pain while sitting or standing
- Bleeding after bowel movements
- Discomfort & swelling around anus
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms severely (i.e., NOT just because Uncle Ted's practical jokes scarred you since childhood) then visit your doctor immediately.
How Can You Treat Them at Home?
There are different ways to relieve painful hemorrhoids (which won’t necessarily involve amputating limbs or chanting exorcism rites.) Here’s what we recommend:
Replace Toilet Paper With Witch Hazel Wipes
Witch hazel wipes contain compounds that soothe inflammation and provide relief from itching discomfort caused by piles. They’re gentle on the skin, too! You can find them conveniently at any drugstore. Plus, sticking aloe vera gel up your bum isn't really practical.
Take Warm Sitz Baths
A warm sitz bath (a shallow bath for soaking the lower part of one's body) is excellent in relieving pain and itching sensation caused by hemorrhoids. Pouring boiling water over yourself doesn’t count as a sitz bath!! Here's how to do it:
- Fill your bathtub with 6 inches of warm water
- Add Epsom salt or baking soda- these are NOT ingredients for chocolate chip cookies, FYI
- Soak in it thrice/day during particularly excruciating moments
Don't add perfumed soaps or hydrogen peroxide when taking your sitz bath; they might cause irritations.
Use Over-the-Counter Creams & Ointments
You can get instant relief from piles by using ointments like Preparation H and anesthetic creams containing benzocaine or lidocaine—the latter preferably made into chewable tablets that you decide against chewing (and swallowing) !( Don’t play doctor!
What About Medical Treatment?
If these corny tricks don't work, several medical treatments may be used to treat hemorrhoids long-term—just remember not all conditions respond equally well to all treatment options.
Rubber Band Ligation
Rubber band ligation involves wrapping a tiny rubber band around base of an internal hemorrhoid to cut off blood supply then allowing it go away naturally between five-10 days after the procedure has been performed efficiently under anesthesia! This method works best if you have internal veins causing discomfort because external ones require more complicated surgery (cough sounds painful)
This outpatient procedure includes injecting chemicals that shrink swollen hemroids— physically reducing their size post-procedure, resulting in less painful, swollen hemorrhoids.
When all conservative approaches to treating piles have failed, this becomes the last and most invasive resort — Surgery!!! A surgical procedure that removes hemorrhoids altogether through a specialized set of techniques. Its effectiveness depends on various factors such as whether you have external or internal pile types.
Pregnancy is already an exciting time without adding discomfort from hemorrhoids to its mix! If at-home remedies aren't doing jack-spit for your pain & aggravation caused by piles (AKA Satan’s “ornaments”) then speak with your healthcare provider about more advanced treatment options like injections or gasp surgery—just know there's light at end of tunnel!