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Pregnant? Here’s What You Should Know About Your Risk for Hemorrhoids

Pregnant? Here’s What You Should Know About Your Risk for Hemorrhoids

Pregnancy is one of the most joyful phases of life, but it can also come with a long list of uncomfortable physical effects. One of the lesser-known aspects of pregnancy is the risk of developing hemorrhoids

Many of our pregnant patients are unaware of these painful, itchy veins bulge out around their anal area, and most are embarrassed to seek help. Dr. Ayub Hussain and our team at Northside Gastroenterology Associates want mothers-to-be throughout Cypress and Katy, Texas, to understand that hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy and treatments are available. 

Why pregnancy and hemorrhoids go together

Hemorrhoids occur when the veins in your rectum and anus swell. Some hemorrhoids develop internally and don’t usually cause symptoms, but hemorrhoids that crop up at the opening of your anus can form clusters of tight, bulging vessels that itch, burn, and bleed. 

The main driver of hemorrhoids is excess pressure. In many cases, the pressure comes from straining during a bowel movement, which is common with constipation and diarrhea. But pressure can also stem from obesity, heavy lifting, sexual intercourse, and, yes, pregnancy.

As your baby grows in your uterus, your womb presses against your organs with increasing pressure. Your bladder gets squished, making you urinate more frequently. Your stomach gets compressed, making digestion less efficient. During pregnancy, you experience several factors that make you a prime target for hemorrhoids:

Up to 40% of pregnant women experience hemorrhoids during pregnancy. 

Signs you have hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids that develop deep within your rectum often have no symptoms. You may notice a few drops of blood in your stool but generally no pain.

External hemorrhoids, on the other hand, make themselves known. You may notice:

Please note that blood in your stool can also signify other serious conditions; you should never ignore it. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Hussain immediately if you see blood in the toilet on toilet paper. 

What to do about hemorrhoids during pregnancy

Most pregnancy-related hemorrhoids fade away after you deliver your baby. Meanwhile, here are some steps you can take to relieve your symptoms:

If you’ve tried these at-home remedies and still have painful hemorrhoids, Dr. Hussain may recommend treatments, such as rubber band ligation or infrared coagulation, to eliminate the hemorrhoids. 

To schedule a consultation and find out which treatment is best for you during pregnancy, call us at 281-477-9305 or book online

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