Postpartum hemorrhoids, how to prevent and treat them

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Postpartum hemorrhoids

Among the most common post-partum disorders there are undoubtedly the hemorrhoids, an annoying problem that can make life as a new mother really complicated and that causes pain, bleeding and difficulty walking or sitting. Let's try to understand what are the causes of hemorrhoids after childbirth, how we can cure them and how to recognize them.





Hemorrhoids, what are they

Hemorrhoids are areas of swollen tissue that protrude from the anus. In practice the vene present within the fabric become swollen of blood and increase in volume: they can be as small as a pea or degrees as an egg.



Hemorrhoids are:

  • internal: when the affected veins are inside the sphincter;
  • external: when the affected veins protrude out of the anal opening.

Hemorrhoids during pregnancy

Hemorrhoids are common in pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimesters. This is because the physiological hormonal changes typical of pregnancy increase the risk of constipation which, in turn, can promote the onset of hemorrhoids. As we read on Medication and Treatment, in general there are three causes of the onset of hemorrhoids in pregnancy:



  • la constipation which is favored by the action of hormones, especially progesterone, which relaxes the intestinal walls;
  • the hormones which perform a hypotonic action on the venous walls
  • la pressure that the child exercises on the rectal and anal veins

What happens? The veins in the anal and rectal area swell during bowel movements and can even protrude outside the anus. Furthermore the constipation it could get worse if you have to take a supplement iron.

In pregnancy, hemorrhoids must be treated in several ways:

  • Lifestyle: Changing your habits can be helpful in reducing constipation in pregnancy. What to do then? Try going to the bathroom every morning when your bowels are at their most active eat the right amount of fiber and drink at least two liters of water; make regular physical movement that promotes intestinal motility.
  • Laxatives: the use of laxatives should only be considered in serious cases and always under strict medical supervision.
  • Pharmacological treatments: when lifestyle and laxatives prove ineffective you can ask your doctor to recommend a product for the treatment of hemorrhoids. Typically these are creams, gels, sprays or suppositories. They do not cure hemorrhoids but they certainly can provide immediate symptom relief. It should be remembered that most of the topical drugs to treat hemorrhoids are not indicated during pregnancy, however the doctor could still prescribe an ointment or a gel specifying the limit dose considered safest.

Postpartum hemorrhoids, how to recognize them

Hemorrhoids in the post-partum phase may not give particular symptoms, but in many cases they are instead responsible for:

  • itch,
  • burning,
  • ache,
  • difficulty and pain in evacuation;
  • rectal bleeding.

In some cases they may be visible or can be felt to the touch, especially if they are external.

Read also: Postpartum and head of parental losses

Hemorrhoids and natural childbirth

The strain of labor can promote the release and appearance of hemorrhoids, and indeed a number of women sadly experience the discomfort caused by hemorrhoids after natural birth following a prolapse which occurs mainly in the expulsive phase.

If you have stitches in the rectal or perineal area, for example for an episiotomy, it is extremely important to discuss with your gynecologist how to clean and care for your hemorrhoids. You probably won't be able to use topical products or suppositories.

Hemorrhoids after Caesarean section

Caesarean delivery usually does not favor the onset of hemorrhoids as happens in natural childbirth, however if the hemorrhoids formed during pregnancy, they may persist after delivery, especially if you suffer from constipation and constipation.

Do Hemorrhoids Fall After Childbirth?

As mentioned, hemorrhoids are quite common during pregnancy and after childbirth. In most cases, hemorrhoids that developed during pregnancy will go away on their own a few weeks after giving birth, especially if steps are being taken to promote evacuation and prevent constipation.

Postpartum hemorrhoids that do not go away

While in most cases the hemorrhoids disappear with time after delivery, in about 25% of cases they still remain for months after birth.

What to do if the hemorrhoids do not pass? Here are some practical tips:

  • Avoid sitting or standing for too long to reduce the pressure on the rectal area, better to lie down more likely;
  • in case of pain you can take paracetamol which is indicated in both pregnancy and lactation, if you are not breastfeeding you can also take FAS;
  • apply one ice bag on the affected area. The so-called "cold therapy" can reduce pain and discomfort;
  • sit in the tub after filling a bottom of warm water for immediate relief;
  • alternate hot and cold compresses;
  • after evacuation, gently clean the anal area with a suitable solution;
  • contact your doctor or a proctologist who will be able to indicate the most suitable drug therapy, also recommending drugs compatible with breastfeeding.
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