Do I have hemorrhoids?
I think I might have hemorrhoids now that I'm pregnant. What's causing this, and what can I do?
Submitted by Parents.com Team


Many women experience hemorrhoids for the first time during pregnancy. Often described as varicose veins of the rectum, they occur when blood vessels in and around your rectum become stretched and swollen. While we don't know exactly what causes hemorrhoids during pregnancy, hormonal changes, decreased blood return from the lower body (due to the enlarging uterus pressing on the larger veins from the pelvis), and chronic constipation are all contributing factors. You can even get hemorrhoids from the intense pushing you'll have to do to deliver your baby.

How do you know you have hemorrhoids? Two types of hemorrhoids can occur during pregnancy -- internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids can cause painless, light-colored blood around your stool or on your toilet paper after wiping. Occasionally, these internal hemorrhoids can protrude, and you will feel soft swollen masses when wiping. External hemorrhoids can cause painful, hard lumps around your rectum. Although hemorrhoids are not dangerous to your or your baby, you should tell your doctor about any rectal bleeding that lasts more than a day or two. If you get a hemorrhoid flare-up, it will probably only last a few days, but during that time there are several ways to feel better:

• Sit in a warm sitz bath for 15 minutes several times a day, especially after going #2.
• Apply ice packs to the area to minimize swelling.
• Use witch hazel pads to wipe after going to the bathroom.
• Avoid straining by eating foods rich in fiber (like veggies, fruits, and whole-grain cereals) and taking stool softeners.
• Drink plenty of fluids (at least six to eight glasses a day).

While we know that hemorrhoids are (literally) a pain in the you-know-what, there is a silver lining to this cloud. Unlike chronic hemorrhoids, pregnancy-related cases are almost always temporary, and should go away after your baby's born.

Answered by Parents.com Team
Community Answers (5)

Yes, tell your Dr especially if you are constipated and anemic. The best thing to do is eat whole foods and red meat. Preparation H Ointment is the best when there is a flare up. Suppositories are helpful when it gets ugly. Eating "Total Raisin Bran" for breakfast helps with keeping the #2's moving regularly! I am on my third pregnancy and have them again. Once you learn how to manage them, it is not that painful.
Submitted by littlecongagirl

As embarrassing as you may think this is, tell your doctor. I had the courage to tell mine at my last visit and he gave me a prescription that cleared them up in a couple of days.
Submitted by jtshealy

You can also use a stool while you use the bathroom. Squatting will help you strain less and help prevent hemorrhoids.
Submitted by marchand16

The sitz bath really does help,get as hot as you can stand it and it will make the hemorrhoids decrease in size.I have personally tried every ointment on the market and the best stuff for me is Preparation H ointment.They have cream too and suppositories or wipes.Whatever is convenient for you and whatever works best.I got them for the first time when I was pregnant with my daughter.Now I am on my second pregnancy and have them again. I have not had any hard stools either,but still have them!
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