Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are a frequent occurrence. If you’ve been unfortunate enough to suffer from hemorrhoids before pregnancy, the possibility of them recurring during or after the birth of your baby, is increased.
But the good news is that the likelihood of hemorrhoids during pregnancy can be substantially reduced, if not completely prevented. Some women experience hemorrhoids only after the birth of their baby, brought about the pressure from pushing during the second stage of labour. It can be hard work – so it’s important to prepare your body as adequately as possible.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy can occur for many reasons:
1. Pressure on the pelvic veins
An expanding uterus puts pressure on the pelvic veins – in particular, the inferior vena cava. This large vein on the right side of the body receives its blood flow from the lower limbs. The pressure on this vein often means that the return of blood from the lower part of the body is weakened. This increases the pressure in the veins below the uterus and results in them becoming more enlarged and even protruding. This is a common cause of hemorrhoids during pregancy.
2. Hormonal changes
The hormone progesterone increases during pregnancy. Progesterone slows down the intestinal tract – food is not digested as quickly, often resulting in constipation. In its turn, constipation tends to cause straining – and straining puts pressure on the rectal veins, producing hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
To add a double whammy, this increased level of progesterone in the body causes a relaxation of the walls of the veins, allowing them to swell more easily. The combination of these two factors, means hemorrhoids during pregnancy can occur more easily if precautionary measures are not taken.
3. Unbalanced digestive system
Some women find they are less active while pregnant, and their food intake increases more than necessary – otherwise known as “eating for two”. The combination of these two influences, along with the above-mentioned effects of increased progesterone, can create an imbalance in the digestive system.
However, from personal experience, years of research and countless consultations, I know hemorrhoids during pregnancy are almost always preventable – or, at the very least, they can be substantially minimized and their healing time reduced. Ideally, it’s best to start an anti-hemorrhoid regime before becoming pregnant. Your body will actually benefit from this in many more ways, other than just preventing hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
Excess stress levels can also contribute to hemorrhoids during pregnancy – read my article about that here.
I provide many recommendations for preventing and treating hemorrhoids during pregnancy in my book, Hemorrhoids Saviour – you can read more about it at this site.
Of course, you should always consult your health care professional before undertaking any form of treatment or exercise – especially if you’re pregnant.
Click here to read my 6 Tips for Preventing & Treating Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy.