Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

"I used to laugh at hemorrhoids, and talk of them in fun
But that all ended yesterday, when I developed one
My disposition is no longer sunny
And I think I walk a little funny
It burns, it itches, it needs attention
But you dare not scratch, what you dare not mention
Hoping to stave off a doctors appointment
I bought me some lotion, a salve and an ointment
Applied them all gently, with q-tip and cotton
And I hope by tomorrow, it's gone and forgotten."

-Ron Hopkins

But, seriously.

Hemorrhoids during pregnancy- especially the third trimester- are a fairly common (although unwelcome) occurrence. 

Hemorrhoids are basically varicose veins in a less-than-pleasant area. With pressure, these veins swell. As the swelling persists, it becomes difficult for these veins to go back to their regular size. 

These intensely uncomfortable veins can be inside or outside the rectum. They often cause discomfort, serious itchiness, and pain. Bleeding can also occur.

The constipation that seems to be a special friend of pregnancy seems to add to the prevalence of this annoying pain in the rear. Add in the added weight from the baby/uterus AND the significantly increased blood volume AND the higher progesterone levels that can cause vessels to relax and swell... well, it's a recipe for disaster.

Needing some relief?

*An ice pack can do wonders for any swelling. 

*A 10-15 minute soak in a warm tub of water with a very gentle pat dry.

*Baking soda used topically can do wonders for the itchy factor.

*Over-the-counter medications are easy to find - but we recommend checking with your provider before using them.

*A witch hazel compress can provide cooling relief.

Hoping to prevent this annoyance all together?

It may not be possible to prevent them completely. BUT- drinking a good amount of water, eating foods high in fiber and aiming for an average weight gain during pregnancy can all help reduce the risk.