Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on August 09, 2022
2 min read

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.

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.

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. Let them know if you want to use a hemorrhoid cream or take a stool softener, or if you're bleeding or feeling severe rectal pain.