Hemorrhoids and pregnancy: how to relieve them?

Hémorroïdes et grossesse : comment les soulager ?

Hemorrhoids are a common problem for pregnant women. Hormonal changes and the significant pressure exerted on the veins affect the perineum and the entire pelvic region. With the Elia team and the help of our community of healthcare professionals, we'll look at the causes, symptoms, effective treatments and preventive measures against hemorrhoids.

What are pregnancy hemorrhoids?

Pregnancy hemorrhoids are simply swollen and inflamed veins in the anal and rectal area that occur during the pregnancy period. They can be internal, external or a combination of both. Many women suffer from painful hemorrhoidal attacks during pregnancy, and around 20% of women will have attacks after giving birth.

Why do hemorrhoids appear during pregnancy?

Several factors contribute to the appearance of hemorrhoids during pregnancy. The main causes are as follows:

  1. Hormonal changes: The relaxation of hemorrhoidal tissue due to estrogen is significant. Indeed, during pregnancy, the body produces additional hormones that have an impact on blood circulation. This can lead to dilation of the veins and encourage the formation of hemorrhoids.
  2. Changes in vein pressure and venous return: The more the uterus expands to accommodate the fetus, the more pressure it exerts on the veins in the pelvic region. This can slow blood flow and lead to a build-up of blood in the rectal veins, promoting the formation of inflamed hemorrhoids.
  3. Constipation, which occurs as a result of reduced intestinal activity and requires extra effort on the part of the mother during defecation.

Late pregnancy

At the end of pregnancy, hemorrhoids can become more frequent and more bothersome , due to the increased pressure exerted on the veins by the baby's weight. During childbirth , the effort of pushing and expelling the baby can also aggravate symptoms and encourage the appearance of hemorrhoids following childbirth.

What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?

There are a number of common symptoms of hemorrhoids during pregnancy:

  • Pain during bowel movements and when sitting down
  • Sensations of heaviness and warmthin the anus
  • Itching or discomfort in the anal region
  • Sensation of constant pressure, false need, or fullness in the anus
  • Protrusion of tissue from the anus (in the case of external hemorrhoids), a prolapse. Blood vessels protrude from the anus. It can be repositioned by the pregnant woman or operated on after pregnancy.
  • Rectal discharge , which is blood in the stool, on the toilet bowl or on toilet paper.
  • Rectal mucus discharge

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to consult your doctor, gynecologist or midwife to establish a precise diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan.

What types of hemorrhoids occur during pregnancy?

During pregnancy, you may encounter different types of hemorrhoids. This condition can manifest itself in attacks, or be chronic and set in for the duration of the pregnancy. They can be very disabling for the mother, but pose no danger to the baby.

Internal hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids form inside the rectum, in the submucosa of the anal canal . They are generally invisible to the naked eye and painless. However, they can be very sensitive to gas and cause bleeding during bowel movements. Ifhemorrhoids prolapse, i.e. protrude from the anus, they may be accompanied by pain and discomfort.

External hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids form under the skin around the anus and are visible. They can be painful and itchy. They are a daily nuisance for the mother, but quickly reabsorb on their own and may leave a small growth called a mariscus on the skin.

Hemorrhoids after childbirth

Hemorrhoids can also develop after childbirth, as a result of physical exertion during labor and the pressure exerted during pushing, especially when labor is long and difficult and there is mechanical intervention using forceps or suction cups.

What is hemorrhoidal thrombosis?

Hemorrhoidal thrombosis is a complication of external hemorrhoids in which a blood clot forms in the inflamed vein. This causes intense pain, swelling and inflammation in the anal region. Hemorrhoidal thrombosis often requires medical intervention to relieve symptoms and resolve the clot. Internal hemorrhoidal thrombosis is rarer and requires a longer convalescence period.

How can pregnancy hemorrhoids be effectively treated?

As soon as a mother-to-be observes any of the symptoms of hemorrhoids, she should consult her doctor, gynecologist or midwife as soon as possible. There are a number of treatment options available to relieve hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

Natural solutions

These solutions are not treatments, but habits and recommendations to reduce pain until the hemorrhoids pass on their own.

  1. Maintain good hygiene : Gently clean the anal area after each bowel movement, using soft toilet paper or wet wipes that are as natural and unscented as possible.
  2. Apply cold compresses: use cold compresses or ice cubes wrapped in a clean cloth to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  3. Take sitz baths: Sit in a tub of lukewarm water for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day to soothe hemorrhoids.

Medical treatments

During pregnancy, it's important to take a treatment validated by a health professional. Self-medication is totally out of the question. There are methods

  1. The use of laxatives such as glycerine suppositories, which facilitate the passage of stools and avoid putting pressure on already weakened veins.
  2. Topical creams containing ingredients such as witch hazel or aloe vera can help relieve hemorrhoid symptoms. Be sure to choose products suitable for pregnant women.
  3. Suppositories containing soothing ingredients can be inserted into the rectum to relieve itching, inflammation and pain.
  4. A surgical procedure called hemorrhoidectomy or hemorrhoidopexy , performed in severe cases where other treatments are not effective, may be necessary to remove hemorrhoids. This procedure is performed after pregnancy. Hemorrhoids generally disappear 6 months after delivery.

How can I prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

Although it's not always possible to completely prevent the appearance of hemorrhoids during pregnancy, certain measures can help reduce the risk or alleviate symptoms:

  • Maintain a balanced diet rich in fiber to avoid constipation (prunes, legumes, wholegrain cereals, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, dried fruit);
  • Drink enough water to maintain good hydration and promote loose stools . It is recommended to drink between 1.5l and 2l of water a day;
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods, exercise regularly and take breaks to walk;
  • Don 't hold back when you feel the urge to have a bowel movement. Go to the toilet regularly when you get up or after each meal. Avoid pushing yourself, and use a footstool or stool to facilitate bowel movements. Knees should be higher than hips, and forearms should rest on thighs;
  • Avoid aggressive wiping after bowel movements, using soft toilet paper or wet wipes instead;
  • Be physically active during pregnancy: 30 minutes of walking or swimming a day improves blood circulation, bowel movements and digestion.

Hemorrhoids during pregnancy can beuncomfortable, but they are generally benign and can be effectively treated. By adopting good habits, you can relieve symptoms and minimize complications. Don't hesitate to consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and advice tailored to your situation.

Pregnancy hemorrhoids FAQ

Which hemorrhoid cream is recommended for pregnant women?

We recommend using topical creams containing natural ingredients such as witch hazel or aloe, specially formulated for pregnant women. Be sure to consult your doctor or pharmacist before using any product to ensure it's suitable for pregnancy.

Do hemorrhoids disappear after pregnancy?

In many cases, hemorrhoids that develop during pregnancy regress after delivery. Sometimes they take up to 6 months to resolve after pregnancy. However, appropriate treatment may be necessary to relieve symptoms and promote healing. Always consult a health professional to establish a diagnosis and set up a healing protocol.

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The information contained in the articles on www-elia-lingerie.com is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.