PILE [HAEMORRHOIDS] IN PREGNANCY

Bayo Ajibola

PILE [HAEMORRHOIDS] IN PREGNANCY.Haemorrhoids, ouch! How painful! Otherwise known as piles, haemorrhoids are swollen veins in and around the anus. They can be itchy, sore, really painful and very uncomfortable. Sometimes, they cause rectal bleeding during bowel movements.

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Pregnancy, as beautiful as it may be, comes with a lot of discomfort due to hormonal changes, growth of the uterus, pressure on the pelvis and many more.  These problems range from pelvic pains, back ache, varicose veins on some parts of the body, heartburn to haemorrhoids.

Haemorrhoids mostly occur in the third trimester of a pregnancy and arecaused by the increased pressure on the pelvic blood vessels and the weight of the uterus.  What this means is that at this stage of the pregnancy, the weight of the growing uterus exerts pressure on the pelvic veins which consequently causes the veins in the rectal wall to be abnormally swollen or dilated. It is also important to state here that it is not unusual for haemorrhoids to develop during labour, especially the second stage of labour (postpartum haemorrhoids).PILE [HAEMORRHOIDS] IN PREGNANCY.

Having discussed the cause and effect of haemorrhoids, it is a welcome relief to know that they can be prevented, managed or treated.It is even more relieving to know that haemorrhoids during pregnancy, in most cases, will begin to disappear soon after the birth of your baby.PILE [HAEMORRHOIDS] IN PREGNANCY.

Ways you can prevent them are:

  •          Eat foods that are high in fibre, thereby preventing constipation. Such foods include: wholemeal bread, beans and lots of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. If constipation does occur,                  inform your doctor who may recommend a stool softener.
  •          Drink plenty of water.
  •          Exercise regularly; a short brisk walk will do.
  •          When moving your bowels, make sure not to strain.
  •          Rush to the toilet once you have an urge to empty your bowels (pass a stool).
  •          Put your feet up when emptying your bowels.
  •          It is also advisable to do pelvic floor exercises as many times as possible daily. To do this, tense the muscles around your vagina and anus and hold for a few seconds before releasing and                    relaxing.   This is beneficial in preventing haemorrhoids, in delivery and in postnatal recovery.

Here are ways you can treat or ease the painsof haemorrhoids:

  •          Apply a cold compress (an ice pack) to the area several times a day. Witch hazel is also highly effective in soothing the pains.
  •          Gently push the bulge back with a clean finger during a bath.
  •          Aftereach bowel movement, gently wipe your anus with moist unscented toilet paper.
  •          When wiping your anus, pat instead of rub.
  •          Soak your bottom in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes a few times each day.
  •          Do not sit or stand for long periods.
  •          Do not sit on the toilet for too long.
  •          Try not to lift heavy items.
  •         Sleeping on your side rather than your back helps in reducing pressure on that area.
  •          Discuss with your doctor who may prescribe an astringent ointment or suppository.

Bayo Ajibola

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