Hemorrhoids or piles during pregnancy are one of the inconvenient and embarrassing issues that you may have to deal with. Swollen and/or bleeding blood vessels in the rectal area may add to the list of discomforts you are already facing.
Why piles are so common in pregnancy
With all of those pregnancy hormones in your system and the increasing size of the uterus putting pressure on the pelvic region, many pregnant women have to deal with this problem. An estimated 50% of women have piles to a lesser or larger extent, either during or soon after pregnancy.
Another pregnancy discomfort, constipation is likely to worsen piles during pregnancy because you may strain to pass stool. The process of labor and delivery can also cause or exacerbate the situation of piles because this also places a lot of pressure on the pelvic region.
How to avoid piles during pregnancy
1. Avoid constipation by drinking plenty of fluids, eating fiber rich food, and taking regular exercise. This is the most important way to avoid piles.
2. If you have to go to the toilet, go as soon as you feel the urge. Restraining a bowel movement will only create difficulty in passing stool later.
3. Regularly do your Kegel’s exercise (pelvic floor exercises). You can do this anywhere, sitting or standing without any one being aware of it. You can do this simply by tightening the muscles of the vagina, as though you were stopping urine, holding for several seconds and releasing. Repeat 10 times and do about 2 to 3 sets a day. Kegels also helps you strengthen your pelvic muscles in preparation for labor and childbirth.
4. Don’t sit in one position for a long time and avoid standing for too long. Move around and change positions frequently. Do some stretches as well. This will also help avoid varicose veins, another pregnancy bugbear. If the piles are very painful or uncomfortable, sit on an inflatable ring, but ask your doctor whether it is suitable for you.
5. Sometimes a stool softener may be required for persistent constipation. However don’t use anything without clearing it with your doctor first.
6. If you have bleeding piles, have your doctor check to see that there is no other reason for the bleeding and ask about suitable remedies you can use for this.
How do piles during pregnancy affect childbirth?
Other than the fact that piles are likely to bleed during labor and childbirth, they are not likely to impact the process one way or another. In most cases, piles disappear after delivery but in some cases, minor surgery may be needed.