Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your rectum, the opening in your bottom. They can cause itching, burning, pain, or bleeding. It's common to get them during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. You should call your doctor if yours bleed or hurt a lot.

Causes of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

You're more likely to get hemorrhoids if you're constipated, because straining to have a bowel movement swells your veins. Your growing baby also puts pressure on the large veins behind your uterus.

Hemorrhoids usually go away soon after your baby is born.

At-Home Care for Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

There are a few ways to ease the pain, itching, and burning of hemorrhoids at home:

Ease pressure

Don't stand or sit for a long time. It puts pressure on the veins in your lower body. When you do sit, use a pillow under your bottom. A rocking chair or recliner may be more comfortable.

Keep moving

Exercise 30 minutes most days, with your doctor's OK. If you have to sit for long periods, make sure you walk around every hour or so.

Prevent constipation

Eat high-fiber foods. Good choices include whole-grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, and beans.

Drink plenty of water. A glass of prune juice may also help.

Soothe irritation

Try a warm bath. Soak your bottom in a few inches of warm water several times a day to relieve pain.

Apply an ice pack or cold compress for 10 minutes up to 4 times a day to bring down swelling.

Use unscented, non-alcohol wet wipes if toilet paper is uncomfortable.

Use pads with witch hazel or a numbing ingredient.

Check with your doctor about taking an over-the-counter pain reliever or a stool softener or using a hemorrhoid cream.

Do Kegel exercises

These exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and can help to ease hemorrhoids. You do them by squeezing and relaxing the muscles in your vaginal and rectal area.

Change your sleep position

Sleeping on your side with your legs tucked toward your head can lower your chances of getting hemorrhoids. And, sleeping on your left side also improves blood flow and delivers nutrients to your baby.

Talk to your doctor

Your doctor can answer questions you have about treatments.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on September 22, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Changes in Your Body During Pregnancy: Third Trimester."

March of Dimes: "Your Pregnant Body: Hemorrhoids."

Nemours Foundation: "Pregnancy Questions & Answers."

Staroselsky, A. Canadian Family Physician, February 2008.

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Common Conditions," "Managing Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins in Pregnancy."

Stanford Children’s Health: “Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins in Pregnancy.”

Mayo Clinic: “Postpartum care: What to expect after a vaginal birth.”

SleepFoundation.org: “Sleeping During Your Third Trimester.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “How Do You Treat Pregnancy Hemorrhoids and Constipation?”

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