Hemorrhoids and Pregnancy
Posted on 13 January 2019 by Maryanne Johnson
Share this post
Pregnancy can be one of the most thrilling moments of a woman's life, but with pregnancy comes a specific issue that very few people politely discuss: hemorrhoids.
Yes, hemorrhoids and pregnancy, unfortunately, go hand-in-hand, and as your pregnancy progresses, your hemorrhoids can worsen and persist, something we're sure you didn't want to hear!
But don’t worry, our guide is here to answer your burning—pardon the wording—questions. Everything you need to know about hemorrhoids and pregnancy is right here, and the more you know, the better you can prevent hemorrhoids from ruining what should be an enjoyable time of your life.
Will Hemorrhoids Go Away During Pregnancy?
Hemorrhoidal conditions are unique to the person experiencing them. Your hemorrhoids are your rectal veins becoming inflamed under abnormal pressure—and for pregnant women, that means a growing uterus that is constricting the blood supply to the lower rectum.
Hemorrhoids come and go. Even as your baby grows, contributing to the weight place upon the veins and arteries, you can still experience some weeks with hemorrhoids, and others without hemorrhoids. It depends on what else you are doing to prevent and manage your symptoms.
It is common for hemorrhoids to become more frequent during the third trimester when there is peak pressure from the fetus on the lower rectal area.
Hemorrhoids are also extremely common during childbirth because of the immense amount of straining and pushing, which causes stress on the sensitive network of rectal veins, arteries, and blood vessels.
Can Hemorrhoids Be Dangerous During Pregnancy?
Hemorrhoids aren’t usually classified as a dangerous condition.
During pregnancy, hemorrhoids can certainly be comparatively worse than if you were to have a regular bout of hemorrhoids, and this is because your body is dealing with additional weight and pressure from being pregnant.
There are some cases of hemorrhoids when they can become infected. An internal hemorrhoid can prolapse, meaning the hemorrhoidal column extends or “falls out” through the anus.
An external hemorrhoid can become thrombosed, where a blood clot can form inside of the hemorrhoid. Thrombosed hemorrhoids are painful, and when they rupture, you could be at risk for developing an infection.
If you feel as if your hemorrhoid flare-up is particularly severe, reoccurring, or failing to respond to treatment, then you should make an appointment with your doctor. You and your doctor may need to reevaluate your approach to treating your hemorrhoids during your pregnancy.
Which Hemorrhoid Cream is Safe During Pregnancy?
Most hemorrhoid creams are safe to use during pregnancy, but be sure to read all the labels before you use any over the counter medications while you are pregnant.
When in doubt, check with your doctor. Your physician may prescribe a medication for your hemorrhoids for you to use while you are pregnant that can help with the discomfort and pain. Your physician may also have recommendations of several over the counter hemorrhoid creams that are safe to use.
While pregnant, you can use popular creams for hemorrhoids like Preparation H. The brand also has a specific cream designed for safe use for women while they are pregnant.
Other hemorrhoid creams that utilize all-natural ingredients are also safe to use while you are pregnant. Brands like Earth Mama and Motherlove make hemorrhoid creams that are organic and natural for expecting mothers.
How Do You Get Rid of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy?
You don’t have to feel doomed during the entire duration of your pregnancy with terrible hemorrhoids. There are plenty of things you can do to both prevent and manage your flare-ups, making your pregnancy enjoyable again.
Ways to get rid and manage your hemorrhoids during pregnancy:
- Sitz bath with Epsom salt
- Eating more fiber
- Using medicated wipes
- Taking a hemorrhoid supplement
- Using topical ointments
- Using a hemorrhoid suppository
- Sitting on a specialized hemorrhoid cushion
Your ultimate goal is to have your body not work so hard to pass stools and circulate blood to the lower rectum. By doing so, you can keep hemorrhoid flare-ups at bay and avoid them altogether.
If you have hemorrhoids during pregnancy, treat the symptoms right away. Use medicated wipes after you use the bathroom, consider applying an ice pack to reduce swelling, or take a warm bath to do so as well. These are all natural and safe ways to treat your hemorrhoids to force them to shrink while you are pregnant.
If you aren’t sure about using certain hemorrhoid medications during your pregnancy, then make a note to ask your doctor to double check if their application is safe for your use.
How Can I Prevent Hemorrhoids During Birth?
There’s no guarantee that hemorrhoids won’t develop when you give birth, especially if you plan to do so vaginally.
Vaginal delivery and labor place an enormous amount of strain on the body—including the delicate veins that course through your anorectal area.
The best thing you can do is to prepare for when you do give birth, making it easier for your body to avoid developing hemorrhoids, or at least severe hemorrhoids.
- Here are a few things you can do during your pregnancy to avoid getting bad hemorrhoids during birth:
- Take a fiber or hemorrhoid supplement to stay regular
- Drink plenty of water
- Practice pelvic floor exercises
- Eat whole foods with fiber like vegetables, fruits, and nuts
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time
- Go for a brisk walk to circulate your blood
All of these activities and precautions can prepare your body for giving birth and avoiding a bad hemorrhoid flare-up. You might not be able to prevent hemorrhoids entirely, but just taking these preventative steps can help tremendously.
Can I use Hydrocortisone Cream on Hemorrhoids while Pregnant?
Hydrocortisone cream is typically considered safe to use while pregnant, but like any medication, you’ll want to double check with your doctor to be sure.
For anti-itch medication, you can also opt for witch hazel, a natural herb that has anti-itch, soothing properties and is excellent for helping with hemorrhoid itch.
Taking a warm sitz bath can also help relieve anal itching, a common symptom of hemorrhoids.