Pregnancy can be a beautiful time for many women, but with pregnancy comes some bothersome symptoms, from swollen ankles to frequent trips to the restroom. Pesky varicose veins are another symptom of pregnancy, ranging from swollen veins that pop out along the ankles to inflamed veins in the anus or rectum, called hemorrhoids. During pregnancy, the pressure of the fetus, along with hormonal changes, can cause hemorrhoidal veins to enlarge, leading to itchiness, pain and rectal bleeding.
According to BabyCenter.com, some women experience hemorrhoids for the first time during pregnancy; others who have developed hemorrhoids before pregnancy are more likely to develop them again while they’re expecting. Hemorrhoids are also likely to develop during delivery because of the strain of pushing.
Medical attention is sometimes necessary, but most hemorrhoids go away on their own. To get relief from hemorrhoids, try some of these home remedies, suggested by the Mayo Clinic:
- Apply ice to the affected area to reduce swelling.
- Soak in warm water.
- Use witch hazel, an astringent that can relieve pain and itching.
- Cleanse the area after bowel movements. Pre-moistened wipes may be more soothing than dry toilet paper, and medicated wipes made specifically for hemorrhoids are also available.
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time, which puts pressure on the anus.
- Use over-the-counter hemorrhoid medications, such as creams or suppositories.
To find a doctor specializing in hemorrhoids near you, visit the center locator.