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How can I avoid hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Hemorrhoids in pregnancy are common. However the best ways to prevent them or to decrease their discomfort is to avoid constipation. Strategies to avoid constipation include keep well hydrated, eating a diet with fiber content and getting daily exercise. In some cases a mild stool softener may be prescribed by the healthcare provider.

Hemorrhoids are a common complication of pregnancy and result from increasing pressure in the veins that return blood from the lower extremities to the heart. To reduce your chances of getting hemorrhoids, or to keep you from getting hemorrhoids as badly as you might normally, you should try to avoid becoming constipated during your pregnancy. To do that, you can eat high-fiber foods, and if you need to, you can use a stool softener such as Colace or Correctol. If you are still having problems in spite of that, contact your health-care provider.
Although hemorrhoids during pregnancy are sometimes caused by blocked circulation from the increased size of the fetus, they frequently are caused by straining from constipation. To prevent hemorrhoids, eat correctly, and add fruits, raw vegetables, bran products, and lots of water to your daily diet. If you do suffer from hemorrhoids, try lying on your side with your hips elevated on a pillow, or soaking in a warm tub. You can use over-the-counter ointments, but ask your doctor first, as some medication in ointments can be absorbed through the skin and affect your baby’s system.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.