Pregnancy and vagi**nal delivery are one of the causes of women affected by hemorrhoids. This is due to hormonal changes and increased intra-abdominal pressure. Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are estimated to occur in 25 to 35% of pregnant women. Therefore, it is important to know how to treat external hemorrhoids during pregnancy and its causes for prevention .
External hemorrhoids are piles that form under the skin around the anus. Hemorrhoids occur when the external hemorrhoidal veins become varicose veins or swell. It causes itching, burning, painful swelling of the anus. In addition, it causes pain when defecating or so-called dyschezia. In more severe cases it can cause bleeding [1,2].
Most external hemorrhoids in pregnant women, the symptoms will disappear immediately after delivery. Only a few cases require surgical evaluation during pregnancy or after delivery. However, there are several ways to relieve the symptoms . Here’s how to treat external hemorrhoids during pregnancy naturally and medically:
How To Treat External Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy (Natural treatment)
1. Increase Consumption of Fiber Foods
Hemorrhoids in pregnancy should be treated by increasing the fiber content in food.
Pregnant women can eat vegetables such as pumpkin, mustard, sweet potato and potato. Fruits like pear, Apple, and raspberries. In addition, consuming wheat, peas, red beans, and pinto beans .
Patients can adjust their fiber needs with the number of calories needed according to age.
2. Drink more fluids
Drinking water and other fluids such as fruit juice or soup can help fiber in the diet more effectively, and more effectively for the hemorrhoids treatment in general. Increasing fluid intake and practicing toilet habits are safe ways how to treat external hemorrhoids during pregnancy [1,3].
Changing lifestyles such as drinking more fluids and consuming high fiber food will help smooth bowel movements so you don’t have to push. Each person’s fluid needs are different, but at least one should drink at least 1.5 liters per day. Preferably more than this amount, especially during pregnancy .
3. Avoid Sitting Too Long
Sitting too long is one of the causes of hemorrhoids. Try to move around often to avoid pain or soreness when sitting for too long. Sitting on the toilet too long can cause hemorrhoids .
If you have to sit all day while at work, make sure to get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour. When resting at home, position the body to reduce downward pressure on the anal veins such as lying down.
During pregnancy, try to stay active and exercise regularly. Do not stand for too long because it will put pressure on the blood vessels in the lower body.
4. Take a warm bath
Take a warm bath several times a day to help relieve and reduce pain. Make sure the water is warm not hot and check the temperature when trying a warm bath or sitz bath. A sitz bath is a bath using a special plastic tub and filling it with warm water that makes it possible to sit up .
5. Using an Ice Compress
Ice compresses can also be an alternative way to reduce pain and burning caused by hemorrhoids. Patients can compress for 10 minutes several times a day to reduce swelling.
6. Kegel Exercises
Kegel exercises are exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and can help relieve hemorrhoids. Kegel exercises can help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that help support the rectum and increase blood circulation in the rectal area. However, consult your doctor or midwife first and adjust it according to health conditions during pregnancy.
7. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can improve circulation. During pregnancy, a person tends to be dangerous to sit so it is necessary to actively move to avoid getting hemorrhoids. But avoid standing too long.
How To Treat External Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy (Medical Treatment)
In hemorrhoids caused by constipation can consume purgative, which is safe for pregnant women. Laxatives can help relieve the tension associated with constipation and make bowel movements easier. In addition, you can consult a doctor to get a prescription for laxatives that are safe for pregnancy and in accordance with health conditions.
9. Pain Reliever
One of the pain relievers such as paracetamol, can help with pain associated with pain, and blood vessels. Paracetamol can be taken during pregnancy, but must follow the instructions for use. For pregnant women who have stomach problems, you should tell the doctor so that they can be prescribed according to your health conditions.
Taking pain relievers to relieve aches and pains around the anus, but does not eliminate the cause of hemorrhoids. Consult your doctor, midwife or pharmacist to prescribe anti-pain medications that are appropriate for your health condition. Avoid pain medications that contain codeine as they can cause constipation [6, 7].
10. Topical Drug Administration
Topical drugs contain anesthetics, corticosteroid and anti-inflammatory agents. Most anti-topical medications can help support personal hygiene and reduce the symptoms. However, further research is needed for its use in pregnant women. These topical drugs should be consulted with a health professional such as a doctor or pharmacist before using topical ointments or creams [1, 4].
If you see blood during bowel movements, please consult a doctor to make sure the symptoms that appear are not a sign of something more serious .
- Arthur Saroselsky, MD., Alejandro A Nava-Ocampo, MD. Sabrina Vohra, Gideon Koren. CFP.MFC. Hemorrhoids in Pregnancy. Canadian Family Physician; 2008 feb.
- National Institutes of Health. medlineplus.gov Hemorrhoids National Library of Medicine; 2021.
- US National Health Institute (NIH). niddk.nih.gov Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Hemorrhoids. NIDDK; 2016.
- Anonymous. pregnancybirthbaby.org.au Hemorrhoids during Pregnancy. 2022.
- Image: WikipedianProlific, translated by Rage against, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
- National Health Services UK. nhs.uk Piles in Pregnancy. NHS; 2020.
- HealthDirect. healthdirect.gov.au Hemorrhoids. Healthdirect; 2021.
- Video: The Maternity Mentor