Pregnancy Hemorrhoids (Piles): Prevention and treatments

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It is common to get painful hemorrhoids (commonly known as piles) during or after pregnancy, so how can you prevent it and what are the treatments available?

As you’re excitedly counting down the days to your baby’s arrival, you’ve probably noticed all the changes that your body is going through.

Some are pleasant, like that beautiful pregnancy glow most people talk about — but some are unexpected and even painful, such as hemorrhoids, otherwise known as piles.

It is quite a common problem here, with one in three people suffering from piles, and Singapore has even been touted as the “piles capital of the world”!


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Piles are common during and after pregnancy

Hemorrhoids often occur after the age of 30, with over half of those aged 50 and up displaying symptoms, but pregnant women and new mums are also particularly susceptible to it.

So what exactly causes hemorrhoids and what can you do to avoid getting this painful problem during and after your pregnancy?

Signs of hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids can be an internal or external problem that develops in or around the anus.

Internal hemorrhoids

These occur inside of the rectum, are mostly painless and usually can’t be seen or felt.

However, if the condition worsens then it could protrude out of your anus which causes pain and discomfort.

External hemorrhoids

This can be found around the sensitive skin at the anal region and can cause painful swelling, itchiness or even bleeding.

If a blood clot forms there, this could also create a hard lump around your anus.

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If you notice blood on your toilet paper after wiping, it may be a sign of piles

Here are other signs and symptoms to watch out for:

  • Bright red blood in your stool or on your toilet paper when you wipe
  • Any swelling at your anal region
  • Itchiness or irritation around your anus
  • Feelings of pain or discomfort
  • A sensitive or painful lump near the anus
  • Anal fissures and skin tags

Possible causes

Hemorrhoids can be a painful and uncomfortable problem which is common in pregnant women due to the extra pressure on your anal region from the weight of your growing baby.

Other causes may include:

  1. Straining too hard during bowel movements
  2. Sitting for too long on the toilet
  3. Diarrhea or constipation
  4. Being overweight or obese
  5. Anal intercourse
  6. Lack of fibre in your diet
  7. Not drinking enough water
  8. Lack of exercise
  9. The iron in your prenatal vitamins may cause constipation which could lead to piles
  10. Irregular bowel movements

How can you prevent piles during your pregnancy and what are the treatments available? Go to the next page to find out!

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