It may be the last symptom you want to deal with you’re also managing fatigue and nausea, but hemorrhoids are very common during pregnancy. The National Institutes of Health estimate that anywhere from 25% to 85% of pregnant women develop hemorrhoids, based on the population sampled and the stage of pregnancy.

Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy for a variety of reasons, including:

  • The growing uterus increases pressure on abdomen which increases pressure on the veins below the abdomen, particularly in the third trimester.
  • Hormonal increases can also cause the walls of your veins to relax, allowing them to swell more easily.
  • Straining from constipation, a common symptom of pregnancy, can cause veins in the rectum to swell.

Hemorrhoids typically range from the size of a pea to the size of a grape and can be internal, meaning inside the rectum, or external, meaning protruding through the anus. Symptoms can range from mild itching to pain that makes it uncomfortable to sit or walk. Hemorrhoids may also cause bleeding, especially during a bowel movement, which can be especially alarming during pregnancy.

If you’re experiencing discomfort from hemorrhoids during pregnancy, there are measures you can take to keep symptoms under control, such as:

  • Soak in a warm (but not hot) bath several times a day
  • Avoid constipation by eating a high fiber diet and drinking plenty of fluids
  • Avoid sitting for long periods of time

The good news is that once your baby is delivered and the increased pressure subsides, hemorrhoid symptoms often go away.

But if you continue to suffer from hemorrhoids post-pregnancy, know that there are easy, non-surgical treatments to quickly remove hemorrhoids at their source. The in-office, painless Infrared Coagulation (or IRC) treatment uses an infrared laser that generates short bursts of warm light, causing the hemorrhoid to shrink and recede. The procedure can typically be done in a minute, and is effective in eliminating hemorrhoids 95% of the time. Usually three or four separate treatments, a month apart, are needed. The treatment requires no anesthesia and no down time, which is a common concern for new moms.

In the meantime, if two other common conditions related to hemorrhoids develop during your pregnancy, the specialists at Premier Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Knoxville can help resolve them. One case is if an internal hemorrhoid swells and extends outside the anus. These can range in size from a pencil eraser to as big as a golf ball, and can be quite painful, but can also be alleviated quickly and safely during pregnancy. The doctor puts numbing medicine on it, makes a tiny nick, and teases the blood out until the extended hemorrhoid has shrunk, all in about 30 seconds.

The other pregnancy-related condition the specialists at Premier Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Knoxville commonly treat is a residual hemorrhoid anal skin tag, which is a fancy word for dangling skin, or a tag. It’s not unusual for a woman who has had two or three pregnancies to develop some stretched out skin that hangs from the anus. This can be a nuisance, but it’s easy to remove.

Premier Surgical Associates offers the only dedicated non-surgical hemorrhoid treatment center in the Knoxville region. If you’d like to talk to a specialist about your hemorrhoid treatment options during or after pregnancy, call Premier Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Knoxville at (865) 588-9952 or request an appointment online.