Baby hemorrhoids are a common thing and one of the many uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy. These are not hemorrhoids on the baby, but hemorrhoids that the mother to be gets during the 10 months of pregnancy. Even the woman who has never gotten hemorrhoids in the past can experience them during pregnancy, so it’s best to be forewarned.
Why do hemorrhoids occur so frequently in pregnant women? Hemorrhoids are caused by undue pressure on the veins in your rectum and intestines below the level of your uterus. When you are pregnant, the growing baby increases the pressure on those veins and arteries. This can cause hemorrhoids and clotting as well as varicose vein and other pressure related problems.
Constipation is another problem common to pregnancy and also a leading cause of hemorrhoids. Should hemorrhoids be caused by the pressure of the baby in the uterus, then constipation can aggravate the situation, inflaming hemorrhoids and possibly causing them to rupture and bleed. It is the straining during constipation that causes the anal canal to push out hemorrhoids instead of the bowel movement – or both.
Another reason why pregnant women often end up with hemorrhoids is the same reason why they exhibit wild mood swings and nausea – hormones. The increased progesterone during pregnancy causes a breakdown in the protection mechanism in veins that usually slow or stop swelling. The walls relax and there’s nothing to stop the swelling. Progesterone also contributes to constipation, which as shown above, causes hemorrhoids and makes existing hemorrhoids even worse.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are par for the course. There is no need to call your doctor unless you are bleeding. Do check in before using steroid treatments and over the counter medications. Try a sitz bath instead or a poultice.