How to Get Rid of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

Hemorrhoids tend to be more common later in pregnancy. Learn how to get rid of these uncomfortable varicose veins while expecting.

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Hemorrhoids are itchy, painful varicose veins in your rectal area. They are common during pregnancy thanks to blood vessels that swell because of higher-than-usual blood volume. That extra blood can cause hemorrhoids to plump up to the size of a marble, and your growing uterus exerts more pressure on the pelvic veins, increasing the swelling.

So how long does it take for hemorrhoids to go away? Depending on the severity, they can stick around for days, weeks, or months—but you don't have to suffer in silence. Learn how to get rid of hemorrhoids with these tips and tricks.

Pregnancy Hemorrhoids Treatment

You can implement several strategies to prevent hemorrhoids. For example, avoid constipation (which aggravates hemorrhoids) by consuming plenty of fluids, eating a high-fiber diet, and regularly exercising, says Jeanne Faulkner, R.N. Even when following this advice, though, hemorrhoids might still be inevitable.

The following methods may ease the pain and discomfort associated with hemorrhoids in pregnancy.

Sitz baths can ease hemorrhoid discomfort

For those wondering how to cure hemorrhoids at home fast, a warm-water soak might ease discomfort. That doesn't mean you have to fill an entire bathtub every time; you can buy a small plastic tub (called a "sitz bath") at the drugstore.

Fill it with warm water and position it over your toilet so you can sit in it for 15 minutes several times a day—especially after going number two. To get the most out of your sitz bath, try these tips:

  • Add more water to keep the temperature comfortable.
  • Try an over-the-counter sitz bath with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).
  • Try 1/2 cup Epsom salt per gallon of warm water for relief.
  • Don't stand too fast when you're finished; go nice and slow.
  • Pat yourself dry with a clean towel before getting dressed.

Ice on hemorrhoids can relieve swelling

Try alternating ice packs with warm-water soaks. Apply the ice for 15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. However, you shouldn't place ice directly on the hemorrhoids; always use a washcloth or other barrier.

Witch hazel may heal hemorrhoids

Some people try healing hemorrhoids with witch hazel. You can buy witch hazel pads in stores and use them to wipe after going to the bathroom.

Witch hazel is an astringent, which means that it can help temporarily shrink hemorrhoids by drawing out water from the tissue. You can use a liquid form of witch hazel to medicate a cold compress or try presoaked witch hazel pads to help relieve itching, pain, and swelling.

For added comfort, chill the witch hazel in the fridge before applying it to hemorrhoids.

Soft, wet toilet paper can relieve hemorrhoids

Using unscented, white toilet tissue can lessen irritation, and it might help to wet the tissue before you wipe your rectal area. You can also buy specially medicated moist towelettes to use instead of toilet tissue.

Lifestyle changes can relieve hemorrhoids

Some of the most robust and effective treatments you can use to alleviate hemorrhoids can be found in simple lifestyle changes. Taking care of your health, including how you exercise, eat and rest, makes hemorrhoids less of a pain in the derrière.

  • Avoid straining in the bathroom.
  • Eating foods rich in fiber
  • Take stool softeners
  • Drink at least six to eight glasses of fluids a day
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long stretches of time
  • Lie on your left side while sleeping or watching TV
  • Avoid lifting heavy weights

Topical anesthetic or medicated suppository can help hemorrhoids

If the pain or itching becomes intolerable, ask your practitioner to suggest a topical anesthetic or safe medicated suppository.

The best medicine for hemorrhoids may be laxatives since they relieve constipation and straining that can aggravate hemorrhoid discomfort. You also might want to ask your provider about a fiber supplement or stool softener.

Do Hemorrhoids Go Away On Their Own?

Unlike chronic hemorrhoids, pregnancy-related cases are almost always temporary and should go away after your baby's born. If your hemorrhoids persist, talk to your doctor about a different treatment plan.

Updated by Nicole Harris
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