Are you among those who cringe at the mere mention of hemorrhoids? Even though it's common to experience hemorrhoids during pregnancy or after childbirth, few people openly discuss these issues. Here, we explain what hemorrhoids are and what you can do to alleviate the symptoms. If you want to learn more about common postpartum issues, download the LEIA Health app for tips and advice to facilitate your recovery.
Why do hemorrhoids occur?
Hemorrhoids involve the protrusion of the rectal mucosa either inside or outside the anal opening, appearing like small cushions made of connective tissue and blood vessels covered by mucous membranes.
During pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body increases, and the pressure from the growing uterus makes it slightly more challenging for blood to circulate. This leads to increased pressure in the blood vessels of the rectum, making hemorrhoids more likely to develop.
Common symptoms – and how to treat them
When you have hemorrhoids, you may experience bleeding, itching, and burning around the anal opening. It can also cause leakage of mucus or stool, and you may feel a protrusion at the anal opening.
Constipation exacerbates hemorrhoid symptoms. Therefore, try to consume a high-fiber diet, drink plenty of fluids, and engage in regular physical activity. Cleanse or shower the skin around the anal opening with lukewarm water.
" I'm so grateful that Leia talks about this! No one informed me about hemorrhoids before I had children. It came as a shock to me two weeks after childbirth when I experienced it myself. "
Hemorrhoids often heal without treatment about 1-2 months after childbirth. However, there are over-the-counter medications available at the pharmacy that can alleviate symptoms in the meantime. Contact a midwife or a healthcare center if your hemorrhoids are growing or causing severe pain.