They itch and they burn – hemorrhoids are just one of the things many pregnant women face as a result of their hormonal and body changes.

What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins inside or outside of your anus.

Also known as piles, hemorrhoids can range in size – from as small as a bead to as large as a nickel. They are very common among pregnant women and can develop frequently especially during the third trimester.

Why do pregnant women develop hemorrhoids?
The increased blood flow to the pelvic area as well as the pressure from the growing uterus (and baby) are the biggest contributors of hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

Many pregnant women also experience constipation, another major risk factor for hemorrhoids. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can slow down the bowel movement. When the stool is hard, it takes extra straining to eliminate it. This can put more pressure on the veins in the rectal area, causing them to bulge.

What can you expect with hemorrhoids?
Depending on the type of hemorrhoids you have, you may experience:

• Painful bowel movements
• A raised area of skin near your anus
• Bleeding (you will notice blood when you wipe after a bowel movement)
• Itchiness and burning sensation on the rectal area

How to deal with hemorrhoids when you’re pregnant?
There are some things you can do at home to relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids. This includes:

• Applying ice pack to the affected area
• Soaking in warm water several times a day
• Getting a donut-shaped pillow if hemorrhoids make sitting uncomfortable
• Applying witch hazel pads on the area
• Keeping the affected area clean by using soft and unscented tissue or wipes

Can hemorrhoids be prevented during pregnancy?
Hemorrhoids are a result of the changes your body goes through during pregnancy. While it’s not assured, the following can help reduce your chances of developing them:

• Eat a high-fiber diet, getting both soluble and insoluble food sources.
• Do not delay going to the bathroom when you feel the urge.
• Choose food-based prenatal vitamins instead of synthetic ones. Synthetic vitamins usually cause constipation.
• Exercise on a regular basis. Incorporate physical activity in your day-to-day life, be it walking, yoga, or stretching.
• Stay hydrated. Minimize your intake of processed and sugary drinks. When it comes to hydration, water is still your best option.

Will hemorrhoids go away after pregnancy?
For some women, hemorrhoids go away after pregnancy. However, for many, the issue can persist for years.

If this is your case, our specialists at Premier Surgical Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Knoxville, TN can help. We specialize in IRC (Infrared Coagulation) a gentle, non-invasive laser procedure that eliminates hemorrhoids at the source. IRC is pain-free, quick, and covered by most insurance plans! Many of our happiest patients are Moms who no longer have to suffer from hemorrhoid pain!

For more information, or to request an appointment, call our Confidential Hemorrhoid Hotline at (865) 588-9952 or visit