Hemorrhoids are enlarged (varicose) veins of the rectum that may become painful during pregnancy.
The increased pressure of the enlarging uterus on the hemorrhoidal veins causes them to become distended.
Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- Rectal itching
- Bright red bleeding on the tissue after bowel movements
Hemorrhoids are not entirely preventable during pregnancy. Avoiding constipation is one of the best means of minimizing problems. Adequate fluids and fiber/bran in your daily diet helps provide a bulky soft stool that will decrease the discomfort and symptoms of the hemorrhoidal veins.
Hemorrhoids may also be treated using Tucks® or a gauze soaked in witch hazel for symptomatic relief.
Local or topical ointments available over-the-counter may also be useful in providing relief.
If hemorrhoids bleed profusely or cause intense pain, you should consult your provider. The problem of hemorrhoids is usually relieved after delivery.