Haemorrhoids in pregnancy
Haemorrhoids – commonly known as piles – are similar to varicose veins, except that they develop in the rectum, when the blood vessels in the anal canal become swollen and inflamed.
Haemorrhoids, as well as varicose veins in the legs and sometimes even on the vulva, are relatively common during pregnancy. As pregnancy progresses the pressure on the pelvic region increases making it more difficult for blood to flow freely in and out of the area.
Constipation during pregnancy can also cause or aggravate hemorrhoids because of the straining.
Progesterone during pregnancy causes the walls of your veins to relax, allowing them to swell more easily. Progesterone also contributes to constipation by slowing down digestion and elimination.
Haemorrhoids during pregnancy
Haemorrhoids may be internal or they may protrude through the anus. They can be extremely uncomfortable and may cause itching, pain and even bleeding.
How to alleviate some of the symptoms of haemorrhoids
- Sit in a bath of warm water
- Apply cotton wool balls soaked in witch hazel to your rectum
- Use homeopathic preparations such as Hemorrho Plus topical cream and the tissue salt Calc Fluor and Nat Mur No 9. (Check with your caregiver before using any commercial haemorrhoid preparations)
- Avoid constipation and sitting for long periods on the toilet
Constipation during pregnancy
Constipation during pregnancy has 3 main sources:
- Slower digestion
- Pressure on the intestines
- Lack of water.
Irregular eating habits, medications, too little exercise, environmental changes, stress and a higher calcium and iron intake can also be factors.
How to prevent and treat constipation
- Drink warm water every morning to stimulate intestinal activity.
- Sip 6 to 8 glasses of water a day.
- Eat whole grains and raw unpeeled fruits and vegetables.
- Drink chamomile tea with a little sliced fresh ginger.
- Drink 125ml of prune juice or 1T of linseeds in water or 2T of molasses in warm milk each evening
- Take a brisk walk and do exercises that make your abdominal muscles massage your intestinal tract.
- Massage your abdomen in a clockwise direction every night before bed using warm oil.