Prevention through a well-balanced diet, drinking and exercise – Hemorrhoids in pregnancy are an unloved topic, but not at all. About half of all pregnant women suffer more or less severely.
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What are hemorrhoids?
Every person can get hemorrhoids. They are created in a tissue cushion around the intestinal exit, which is traversed by many small blood vessels and together with the sphincter ensures that the intestine is sealed. Physicians refer to this corpus cavernosum as plexus hemorrhoidal.
What we call hemorrhoids in everyday language are dilations of the blood vessels at the intestinal exit – casually speaking: varicose veins on the anus. Medically correct, these vascular dilations are referred to as “hemorrhoidal disease.”
The division into “inner” and “outer” hemorrhoids is now considered obsolete. Instead, doctors distinguish between four degrees of disease. In grade 1 and 2, the dilated vessels do not penetrate to the outside; such mild hemorrhoids are usually not very painful.
Third and fourth-degree hemorrhoids emerge from the anus during bowel movements or forced labor – some of them slide back into the intestine, others are externally felt as nodules and often show marked signs of inflammation.
The vasodilations may bleed, but do not itch or itch. Nevertheless, the consequences of Hämorrhoidalleidens are incredibly annoying. Due to the dilated vessels, the bowel outlet is no longer completely closed. The skin is permanently irritated by minimal stool contamination and mucus, which can cause itching, burning or pain. Inflammatory major hemorrhoids can be very painful at times.
Why do hemorrhoids develop during pregnancy?
Pregnancy has certain favorable factors for hemorrhoids:
- The pregnancy hormones expand the vessels and loosen up the tissues of the body.
- The growing uterus, but also love handles or water retention complicate the return of the blood in the vessels, particularly sensitive here are the leg and pelvic veins. Often a pregnancy does not just cause hemorrhoids, but also varicose veins.
- The growing uterus presses on the intestine, which can lead to congestion in the vessels of the rectum. This results in a slowed activity of the intestine and many cases also constipation. The stronger pressing toilets exert additional pressure on the blood vessels at the anus. The same thing happens with the labor pains at birth.
Can hemorrhoids be avoided during pregnancy?
The most effective way to avoid hemorrhoids during pregnancy is to prevent constipation. A whole healthy diet with lots of fiber ensures that your gut works well despite the stress of pregnancy. Fibers are found, for example, in fruits, vegetables, wholemeal products, dried fruits or cereals. Dried fruit – plums, apricots, raisins, figs, dates – is often very effective even with existing constipation.
You can get an additional dose of fiber in the form of gum arabica taste-neutral product from the juice of some acacia species – from the health food store or pharmacy. Dairy products such as natural yogurt, buttermilk or whey keep your intestinal flora in balance and thus also promote digestion.
If possible, respond immediately to the pressure of the intestines, allowing time for using the toilet and try not to press too hard. For stubborn blockages, you may ask your doctor for a stool softening medication.
Equally important for proper digestion is abundant drinking and exercise. Doctors recommend drinking eight to ten glasses – that is, two to 2.5 liters – per day during pregnancy. Still suitable for this are still water, unsweetened herbal teas and fruit juice spritzers.
Gentle sports, gymnastics, yoga or – if your time is not enough for a sports program – a regular, fast walk will ensure greater well-being during pregnancy and keep your bowels in shape.
Regular pelvic floor training is important during pregnancy and postpartum for many reasons. Also excellent for preventing hemorrhoids during pregnancy. A very effective exercise strengthen the anal sphincter and the anal veins are that you tighten the muscle up to 50 times in rapid succession and relax again. The best way to do this is to lie down in the morning and the evening while pulling your knees as far as possible towards the chest.
What helps against the complaints?
If all preventive measures have not worked and hemorrhoids persist, home remedies and natural medicines or remedies help:
- Warm baths often relieve the itching and pain of hemorrhoids during pregnancy. However, you can only try out whether heat or cold will help you better: some women swear by the warm baths, others find that cooling – such as laying an ice bag – is good for the pain caused by the hemorrhoids. Quark compresses, or grated potato compresses can also be helpful and anti-inflammatory in the treatment of hemorrhoids.
- Wash the anal area gently and thoroughly after each bowel movement. Best suited for this is a bidet. If you do not have a bidet, you can instead rinse your buttocks with the shower hose.
- Use unperfumed paper to dry, as it will irritate irritated skin the least.
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods – both increase the pressure on your pelvic floor, causing hemorrhoids in the swing can lead to pain.
- If possible, sleep on the left side to relieve your vessels.
- The irritation of the skin can be minimized in case of stronger complaints by anal tampons.
- If you have severe pain from the hemorrhoids, you can use an inflatable seat ring or a hemorrhoid pillow. However, a seat ring should only be used for a short time, as it restricts the circulation of the buttocks and heals the hemorrhoids worse.
- Ointments or suppositories containing horse chestnut, stinging nettle, St. John’s wort, yarrow and other plants can relieve pain and stop bleeding.
- Baths with oak bark have an astringent (astringent) effect.
- Even more effective are sitz baths in a decoction of 120 grams of witch hazel leaves, 60 grams of comfrey root and 2.25 liters of water. The mixture should simmer for about eight hours on the stove and then strained. It can be used multiple times and helps even with very strong hemorrhoids. It is best to take the hip bath twice a day for 15 minutes each.
- Vitamin E promotes the healing of torn capillaries – a deficiency in which promotes the development of varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It is contained, for example, in sunflower seeds and wheat germ. Maybe your doctor will prescribe you a vitamin D supplement.
- Homeopathic medicines can also help with the healing of hemorrhoids.
Important: If you want to use medication for hemorrhoids during pregnancy, please also clarify with active herbal ingredients, whether they are harmless for your baby.
- In hemorrhoids, a large proportion of women suffer during pregnancy.
- The vascular dilations in the anal region are not dangerous but can be annoying due to the associated complaints.
- The most important prevention of hemorrhoids during pregnancy is to avoid constipation through a well-balanced, high-fiber diet, abundant drinking and exercise.
- Home remedies and various natural remedies are suitable for the treatment of hemorrhoids during pregnancy.