Hemorrhoids, yes not the sexiest subject to talk about. Yet they are common in pregnant women and can cause some discomfort. What we also want to pass on is that there is nothing to be ashamed of, about 85% of pregnant women will experience hemorrhoids. In this blog we will tell you what hemorrhoids are, how they occur and what you can do to remedy them.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are bulges of the mucous membrane that can grow on the inside of your intestine and near the anus (Home Doctor, 2017). There are both internal and external hemorrhoids. The internal variety are inside the anus and the external form is outside the anus. These bulges can cause an itching, burning or painful sensation around the anus. It can become extra painful when the hemorrhoid is pinched. This causes a painful clot to form. Some also experience blood loss with stool (Pregnancy Portal, 2021).
How hemorrhoids occur
Hemorrhoids are caused by high pressure around the anus. This pressure is caused by excessive pushing during defecation or childbirth. Because pregnant women often suffer more from constipation, hemorrhoids are often on the lookout. But during pregnancy, your uterus also puts more pressure on the anus, making hemorrhoids (even) more likely. There is nothing to be ashamed of, as approximately 85% of all pregnant women will eventually suffer from hemorrhoids (Thuisarts, 2017).
Unfortunately, completely preventing hemorrhoids during pregnancy is not possible. So below we give you some tips to reduce the risk of hemorrhoids.
- High-fiber diet - Fiber keeps your bowels working properly and ensures that there is enough moisture in the stool. This keeps constipation at bay. So put plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grain products on your shopping list.
- Drinking water - drink 1.5 to 2 liters of water a day. Pregnant or not, every body needs enough fluids to stay healthy.
- Go to the bathroom on time - If you withhold the stool, it becomes thicker. Which means the chance of constipation increases.
- Move - Sitting too much puts pressure on the anus. So get up regularly, take a walk or try different pregnancy sports.
- Avoid damp toilet paper - Use soft toilet paper or wash your anus with lukewarm water after going to the toilet. Also pat your anus dry thoroughly after cleaning.
(Pregnancy Portal, 2021)
Unfortunately, you can't prevent hemorrhoids, but you can fix them. If the hemorrhoids continue to be painful, itchy and/or bleed, call your doctor. And know: you are not the only one! Hemorrhoids are a pregnancy ailment that many women have to deal with. And you would like to get rid of them quickly.
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Home Physician. (2017, February 1). I suffer from hemorrhoids | Thuisarts.nl. Accessed November 14, 2021, from https://www.thuisarts.nl/aambeien/ik-heb-last-van-aambeien\
Pregnancy Portal. (2021). Hemorrhoids during pregnancy. Accessed November 14, 2021, from https://www.zwangerenportaal.nl/zwanger/kwaaltjes-en-klachten/aambeien-tijdens-de-zwangerschap