Pregnancy & Hemorrhoids: What You Should Know

Pregnancy and Colon HealthExpectant mothers go through a lot of physical changes during their pregnancy, and how they digest food is certainly a big part of that.

Hemorrhoids are a common complaint for pregnant women. As the uterus expands during the pregnancy, the stomach is compressed into a tighter space, along with the intestinal tract and colon. That means that there’s less room for food to be taken in, as well as processed and eliminated, which means many pregnant women have to eat smaller, more frequent meals in order to ensure that they and their baby are getting enough nutrients.

Because pregnancy hormones relax the body’s muscles, the colon works more slowly than usual. Because the rest of the digestive process has been sped up, this often means a traffic jam at the final stage of digestion. And when the digestive process is thrown off the result is often constipation or irregular bowel movements, which can lead to hemorrhoids.

There are ways to lessen the digestive issues during pregnancy, such as drinking plenty of water to aid the process. If you’ve developed hemorrhoids, or think you might be at risk, contact your health care professional to see what preventive steps you can take, or what over-the-counter or at-home remedies you might employ to help take care of the problem.

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