Advertisement

Why are hemorrhoids common during pregnancy?

Evelyn Minaya, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

Hemorrhoids are very common during pregnancy. In this video, obstetrician and gynecologist Evelyn Minaya, M.D. explains why -- as well as what hemorrhoids really are: The answer may surprise you.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Hemorrhoids are very common in pregnancy. The veins near the anus bulge because of the relaxing effects of pregnancy hormones on the vessel walls as well as the increase in blood flow to the area. That, combined with the increased pelvic pressure from the growing uterus and the straining from more difficult bowel movements, causes distention of the blood vessels that poke through the sphincter that keeps the anus closed.

When you're trying to move concrete-hard poop towards the exit (it's hard because it moves so slowly through the colon), those swollen hemorrhoid veins are scraped, so they bleed and can cause pain or itching. Thankfully, hemorrhoids usually go away after delivery.
YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

More About this Book

YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

Can I get a cavity filled while pregnant? Will avoiding spicy foods make my kid a picky eater? Can I really increase my baby's IQ while she's in utero? Whether you're pregnant for the first time,...
Sometimes constipation that can occur during pregnancy may be accompanied by hemorrhoids, enlarged veins near your anus. You may get hemorrhoids during pregnancy even if you don't have any problems with constipation. They occur, in large part, because the growing baby puts pressure on these veins, causing them to swell.

Try not to strain during bowel movements, because that could make your hemorrhoids worse, leading to itching, soreness or even bleeding. If you have hemorrhoids, increase your fluid and fiber consumption and check with your healthcare professional before taking any medication.

Continue Learning about Hemorrhoids

How to Treat—and Prevent—Hemorrhoids
How to Treat—and Prevent—Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids. Not a popular topic, unless you’re desperate for a way to get rid of them. How can you find relief from painful, itchy hemorrhoids that c...
Read More
What kind of doctor should I see about my hemorrhoids?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
If you're having some of the characteristic symptoms of hemorrhoids - swelling, bleeding, or pain - ...
More Answers
Are hemorrhoids a type of varicose veins?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Yes, hemorrhoids are considered a type of varicose vein. Hemorrhoids are veins that are swollen on y...
More Answers
Tips to Prevent Painful Hemorrhoids
Tips to Prevent Painful Hemorrhoids

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.