Pregnancy has certain favourable factors for hemorrhoids. The pregnancy hormones dilate the blood vessels and loosen the tissues of the body.
Fact is, the growing uterus, but also fat deposits or water retention make it difficult for the blood to flow back into the vessels. The leg and pelvic veins are particularly sensitive. Pregnancy often results in not only hemorrhoids but also varicose veins.
The growing uterus presses allover, which can lead to congestion in the vessels of the rectum. This results in slower intestinal activity and, in many cases, constipation. The stronger pressing when going to the toilet exerts additional pressure on the blood vessels at the anus. The pressing pains at birth have the same effect.
No hemorrhoids during pregnancy?
The most effective way to avoid hemorrhoids in pregnancy is to prevent constipation. A healthy wholefood diet rich in fibre ensures that your intestines function well despite the stress of pregnancy. Fibre is found in fruit, vegetables, wholemeal products, dried fruit and muesli, for example.
If possible, react immediately to the pressure of the intestines, take your time when going to the toilet and try not to press too hard. For persistent constipation, you can ask your doctor for a medicine to soften the stool.
Equally important for a functioning digestive system is ample drinking and exercise. During pregnancy, doctors recommend drinking eight to ten glasses – i.e. two to 2.5 litres – of fluid per day. Still water, unsweetened herbal teas and fruit juice spritzers are well suited for this.
Best would be easy sports, yoga and gymnastics. If you don’t fancy time for a sports programm – a regular, power walk will help a good well-being during pregnancy and also keep your bowels “in shape”.
Regular pelvic floor training?
Regular pelvic floor training is important during pregnancy and after giving birth for many reasons. It is also excellent for preventing hemorrhoids during pregnancy. A very effective exercise for strengthening the anal sphincter and anal veins is to tense and relax the muscle up to 50 times in rapid succession. It is best to do the exercise in the morning and evening while lying down and pull your knees as far as possible towards your chest.
What helps against the complaints?
If all preventive measures have not helped and hemorrhoids still appear, home remedies and natural medicines or healing methods can help:
Warm baths often relieve the itching and pain of hemorrhoids during pregnancy. However, you can only try out whether heat or cold will help you better: Some women swear by warm baths, while others find that cooling – for example, putting on an ice pack – is good for the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Curd compresses or compresses with shredded potatoes can also be helpful and anti-inflammatory in the treatment of hemorrhoids.
Wash the anal region gently and thoroughly after each bowel movement. A bidet is best suited for this. If you do not have a bidet, you can rinse your buttocks with the shower hose instead.
Use unscented paper to dry off, as this is least irritating to irritated skin. Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time – both increase the pressure on your pelvic floor, which can be painful for pregnant hemorrhoids. If possible, sleep on your left side to relieve the pressure on your blood vessels. The irritation of the skin can be minimized with anal tampons in case of more severe complaints.
Pain from hemorrhoids during pregnancy?
If you have severe pain from hemorrhoids, you can use an inflatable seat ring or a hemorrhoid cushion. However, a seat ring should only be used for a short period of time, as it restricts the blood flow to the buttocks and the hemorrhoids heal less well.
Ointments or suppositories containing the active ingredients of horse chestnut, nettle, St. John’s wort, yarrow and other plants can relieve pain and stop bleeding.
Sitting baths with oak bark have an astringent effect.
Vitamin E supports the healing of torn capillary vessels – a lack of it promotes the development of varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It is contained in sunflower seeds and wheat germ, for example. Your doctor may also prescribe a vitamin D supplement.
Homeopathic medicines can also help heal hemorrhoids.
Important: If you want to use medication to treat hemorrhoids during pregnancy, please also check with your doctor if herbal medicines are safe for your baby.