Hemorrhoids and Pregnancy

Pregnant Women with HemorrhoidsHemorrhoids are veins in the anal region that get dilated and engorged resulting in discomfort. There are two types of hemorrhoids: Internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids typically cause symptoms of itching, burning, bleeding, and generalized irritation in the anal area while external hemorrhoids almost always present with symptoms of pain.

Pregnancy, especially in the second and third trimester, increases the risk that a woman will develop symptomatic hemorrhoids for several reasons:

  1. The uterus puts pressure on the pelvic veins and the inferior vena cava, a large vein on the right side of the body that takes blood from the lower limbs and returns it to the right side of the heart. This causes an increased pressure in the veins of lower half of a woman’s body during pregnancy, which causes them to become more dilated or swollen.
  2. The hormone progesterone increases during pregnancy and causes the walls of veins to relax, allowing them to swell more easily.
  3. Constipation and straining to have a bowel movement are other common problems that occur during pregnancy that can also cause or aggravate hemorrhoids. Straining causes an increase in pressure of the veins of the pelvis making them more likely to become swollen and symptomatic.
  4. Childbirth (especially vaginal delivery) can cause or aggravate hemorrhoids.

At the Center for GI Health, Dr. Nowain performs a painless, non-surgical treatment called hemorrhoid band ligation to effectively get rid of internal hemorrhoids. This procedure is:

  • fast (as little as 60 seconds)
  • painless (return to work the same day)
  • proven
  • easy (no anesthesia, fasting or other prep)
  • covered by most insurance plans including Medicare; affordable cash pricing

Hemorrhoid band ligation cannot be performed during pregnancy. Therefore, treatment of existing hemorrhoids prior to conceiving is very important and can enable women to have a much more comfortable pregnancy. Many women develop their first symptoms of hemorrhoids during a pregnancy, in which case Dr. Nowain can treat their symptoms with creams and other temporary measures. After delivery, hemorrhoid band ligation is recommended in order to avoid discomfort and future problems during subsequent pregnancies.  If you have hemorrhoid symptoms, or are not sure whether or not your symptoms are arising from hemorrhoids, contact our Beverly Hills GI doctors today to schedule an appointment.

Please note that while this article focuses on woman, pregnancy, and hemorrhoids, this procedure is commonly performed and is very effective for men as well.