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

By Dr. Laura Riley and Nicole Harris
Updated October 09, 2019

Hemorrhoids are itchy, painful varicose veins in your rectal area. Many women develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy because their blood vessels are swollen with a higher blood volume than usual. The 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.

Pregnant women can implement several strategies to prevent hemorrhoids. For example, they can 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. 

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

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

Sitz Baths

For those wondering how to cure hemorrhoids at home fast, a warm-water soak might be best for easing 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 that you can sit in the water for 15 minutes several times a day—especially after going number two

Ice on Hemorrhoids

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

Some women try healing hemorrhoids with witch hazel. You can buy witch hazel pads in stores, and use them to wipe after going to the bathroom. You can also use a liquid form of witch hazel to medicate a cold compress. The plant relieves itching, pain, and swelling. 

Soft Toilet Paper

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

Avoid straining by eating foods rich in fiber (like veggies, fruits, and whole-grain cereal) and taking stool softeners. You should also drink plenty of fluids (at least six to eight glasses a day). Avoid sitting or standing for long stretches of time and lie on your left side while sleeping or watching TV to take some of the pressure off your rectal veins.

Topical Anesthetic or Medicated Suppository

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 these 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?

Do hemorrhoids itch and create discomfort even after trying these methods? If so, you may wonder if the hemorrhoids go away without treatment. Here’s the silver lining: Unlike chronic hemorrhoids, pregnancy-related cases are almost always temporary, and should go away after your baby's born.

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