Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are an unpleasant, but not unavoidable pregnancy symptom, many expectant mothers experience. They are a type of varicose vein found in your rectal area, which means they are basically swollen rectal blood vessels caused by the excess pressure placed on your vena cava by your ever expanding uterus and your weaker vein walls due to increased progesterone levels. We know that’s all very scientific and maybe a bit confusing, but in summary you can blame hemorrhoids on your growing uterus and pregnancy hormones. Sounds like almost every other pregnancy symptom, doesn’t it?
Hemorrhoids can be as small as peas or as large as grapes and they are often accompanied by itchiness, burning, pain and sometimes a bit of rectal bleeding. If you experience any rectal bleeding it is a good idea to contact your doctor to be on the safe side. Some mothers describe hemorrhoids as being mildly uncomfortable, while others will tell you it’s the worst pregnancy symptom of all, like with every other aspect of your pregnancy it varies from woman to woman.
Hemorrhoids usually appear during your third trimester or during the second stage of labour when your rectal blood vessels have the most pressure exerted upon them. If you have experienced hemorrhoids pre-pregnancy you are unfortunately more likely to experience them during your pregnancy, so it’s advisable to take extra care. Luckily, hemorrhoids do tend to gradually disappear after you have given birth, but you must make sure to avoid constipation in order to expedite the healing process.