Piles during Pregnancy – Symptoms, Treatment Home Remedies
Created by Swati Nitin Gupta Updated on Oct 25, 2017
My friend Rita was enjoying her pregnancy, being pampered by her husband, when suddenly she felt some pain in her rectum area and saw blood post her bowel moments. She was worried and told this to her husband. Her husband and she went to the gynaecologist, who after listening to Rita said there is nothing to worry, as she was suffering from piles. But despite the doctor's reassurances she was worried and being internet savvy she immediately searched on the internet about piles during pregnancy.
And here I am sharing the information she got from the internet with you. But before we go on to know why piles in pregnancy are a common occurrence, let's find out what exactly are piles.
What Are Piles?
When the blood vessel in your lower rectum and anus swell up and become inflamed they cause piles. It is these swollen blood vessels that cause pain during and post bowel moments and may also in some cases hang out from the anus post your bowel moment.
Are Piles Common During Pregnancy?
Yes, piles are quite common in pregnancy as almost 25 – 30 percent women surfer from piles while pregnant. As to why piles are common in pregnancy – it is believed that during normal pregnancy there is an increase in progesterone hormones levels thus relaxing the walls of the blood vessels of the rectum area resulting in the piles in pregnancy.
This apart, as the baby grows in the womb, it puts pressure on the blood vessels resulting in inflamed veins and blood vessels, which can result in piles.
What Are Symptoms of Piles in Pregnancy?
While there are numerous symptoms of piles when pregnant, some of the most common and prominent ones are listed below.
- Painful and uncomfortable bowel moments: The bowel moments are quite painful and uncomfortable considering the swollen and inflamed blood vessels are being pressured when passing stool
- Blood after passing the stool: Severe constipation during pregnancy leads to swollen blood vessels and when you sit for long hours trying to pass the stool, you will see blood after passing the stool
- Itching in the rectum area: There will be severe itching in the rectum area and a burning sensation every time you try to pass the stool
- Mucus discharge: Since piles occur when the blood vessels get inflamed in the rectum area, there is a mucous discharge post passing the stool in piles in pregnancy
- Feeling of being full: In piles the swollen blood vessels keep pressurizing your rectum area thus creating the feeling of full bladder and a severe need to empty it even after passing stool.
How To Treat Piles During Pregnancy?
While there are numerous treatments for treating piles in pregnancy, here are some prominent ones that are bound to give immediate relief.
- Medicated pads come handy during piles: Medicated pads come handy even during piles. So you can try the witch hazel pads for piles when pregnant. However, it would be best to consult your gynaecologist for the medicated pads as she would be able to guide you better on what pads are safe for you
- Opt for stool softeners: Stool softeners can also help in giving smooth bowel moments, as constipation is one of the major factors of piles. However, it is again advisable to consult your doctor for the same, as some stool softeners may not be safe in pregnancy
- Wet toilet wipes: After passing stool each time, wash the area carefully and post that wipe your bottom with wet toilet wipes. You can even pat the area so as to avoid aggravating the area and the pain
- Cold pack: Cold pack is another way to get some relief from the pain caused by piles. You can dip a small towel in ice-cold water, wrung the excess water out and put it gently around your rectum area and the anus
Home Remedies For Piles in Pregnancy
There are few home remedies that you can try for piles during pregnancy.
- Sleeping position: Try to sleep on your left side to ease the pressure on your abdomen. Sleeping on the left side eases the pressure on the abdomen thus giving you relief from pain from piles. In addition, whenever possible put your feet for about 20 minutes
- Say no to scented toiletries: Yes you need to avoid scented soaps, talcs and even wet toilet wipes as the chemicals causing the scent can aggravate piles and thus giving you more trouble than relief
- Say hello to loose-fitting cotton clothes: Make friends with loose-fitting cotton clothes for easy breathing of the rectum area and pain relief from piles while pregnant
How to Avoid Piles While Pregnant?
The best way to avoid piles during pregnancy involves some easy steps that you can continue post pregnancy as well.
- Drink plenty of fluids and water: Ensure to have loads of fluids like soups, broths and of course not to forget the plain old water to keep the bowel moments smooth and easy
- Avoid constipation: Constipation is one of the key factors of piles when pregnant, so avoid constipation by staying hydrated and eating a healthy food. Avoid oily and spicy food
- Exercise is a must: Exercise is a must in pregnancy to digest what you have eaten so that there is an easy bowel moment
- Don't sit on the toilet seat for too long: Don't strain much on the toilet seat. If you don't feel the pressure in first 10 minutes then get up and wash the area, clean your hands and try later when you feel even a slight pressure later
- Have fibre-rich diet: Take a balance diet which has fruits, green veggies and other foods rich in fibre again for an easy and smooth bowel moment
What Is The Difference Between Piles And Hemorrhoids?
While both of them are used interchangeably there is a minute difference between piles and hemorrhoids, which is essentially the major difference between the two.
While piles occur when the blood vessels in the rectum area swell up and become inflamed, hemorrhoids during pregnancy happen when the veins in the rectum swell up and become inflamed. Hemorrhoids are also known as varicose veins of rectum. Another difference between piles and hemorrhoids is that in piles in pregnancy you will see some mucus discharge post passing stool, no such mucous is seen in hemorrhoids.
Read More: What if Delivering Baby in winter?
Are Piles Dangerous For My Unborn Baby?
While there have been no risk reported for the baby, piles can be quite uncomfortable during pregnancy or even during labour. Hence it is important to eat right and try to get some relief before going into labour.
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