Pregnancy and Hemorrhoids, How Are They Related?


Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen and inflamed veins in the anus or lower rectum. Pregnancy hemorrhoids develop during pregnancy and in most cases, they go away after childbirth without treatment.

Pregnancy hemorrhoids may be caused by changes during pregnancy that increase pressure on your pelvic area from the baby growing inside you. Symptoms include:

  • Itching, burning, and pain around the anus.
  • Bleeding.
  • Mucous discharge.
  • Protrusion of hemorrhoidal tissue outside the anus.  

What are hemorrhoids?

Piles are enlarged or swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum. There are four grades that indicate how severe they are. Grade One can often be treated with diet changes but does not require surgery. Grade Two also does not require surgery but may require lifestyle changes or treatments to recover fully.

Grades Three and Four will need surgery performed by a proctologist. Pregnancy increases pressure on the pelvic area, which makes it difficult for Grade 1 and 2 to heal without special treatment. 

Does pregnancy cause hemorrhoids?

They are caused by increased pressure on hemorrhoid veins, which causes the hemorrhoid valves to break open and hemorrhage blood into your stool. During childbirth, constipation or straining with bowel movements, diarrhea, obesity, aging, and chronic cough can happen. However, there’s no indication that pregnancy causes piles; they occur most often in women over age 30 with multiple births.

The primary symptom is bright red blood on toilet tissue when you wipe after a bowel movement. Contact your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms during pregnancy: pain around the anus, bleeding; mucous discharge; protrusion of hemorrhoidal tissue outside the anus.

How do they cause hemorrhage? Blood loss may be caused by the piles becoming enlarged, and if they break, they can hemorrhage blood. The hemorrhoidal veins are not supported enough during pregnancy, which causes them to swell. A hemorrhoidectomy is a surgical procedure that removes them, and this happens most often with Grade 3 or 4.

What are hemorrhoid symptoms while pregnant?

One of the more common types of hemorrhoids is a thrombosed external hemorrhoid, or external bleeding piles. These develop larger than usual internal hemorrhoids that inflate and form a clot within their larger vein structure. As you sit on the toilet, these clots will protrude from your rectum and appear as a tiny lump on the outside of your piles.

During pregnancy, the first symptom is obvious bleeding, which occurs more frequently when you pass stool or wipe after a bowel movement. Symptoms usually clear up within two weeks of giving birth. Still, they can develop again if you have another child in the future.

How do you get rid of hemorrhoids while pregnant?

Treatments for pregnant women are similar to those for non-pregnant people, except remedies should be used with caution since many treatments can cause internal hemorrhoids to bleed more. Allowing your piles to heal on their own is one option if they’re not painful or bleeding excessively when you have a bowel movement. You can take several steps to allow them to heal without special treatment.

There are several ways to treat them while pregnant, including using sitz baths (which involves sitting in shallow hot water), suppositories, creams, and medicated wipes. In most cases, they go away without treatment after delivery.

One way to treat your piles naturally during pregnancy is to apply hemorrhoid cream around the anal area two times a day. To prevent piles during pregnancy, creams can help by relieving symptoms or pain until they disappear. Women who experience symptoms early in their pregnancies usually find that they go away later on after the baby has dropped into position.

In some cases, they have to be treated with a surgical procedure called hemorrhoidectomy or rubber band ligation. This is usually done only when other treatments haven’t worked, and they are causing pain or bleeding. These procedures can be complicated in pregnant women because of the increased risks of anesthesia complications and blood transfusion requirements.

So it is best to avoid surgery if possible during pregnancy as this may increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight infants, and cause problems during labor and delivery. Piles can also complicate pregnancy due to increased pressure from the baby on the hemorrhoid veins that can rupture and cause hemorrhaging. Symptoms during pregnancy include bleeding, anal fissure, and pain.

Can you get hemorrhoid surgery while pregnant?

Hemorrhoid surgery is not recommended when you are pregnant because it is dangerous for the fetus in any case. Still, particularly in hemorrhoids where they are already compromised, blood vessels are more likely to tear or bleed. This is especially true if you have piles that need an elective hemorrhoidectomy or rubber band ligation. The doctor may recommend alternatives such as stretching the anus muscles with a seton stitch, inversion of the hemorrhoidal tissue, or injection sclerotherapy which involves injecting solutions into the piles to shrink them

Ask your doctor about HemWell, an FDA-approved, pain-free treatment that’s permanent. If your provider doesn’t offer HemWell, we can assist you in finding one that does. Please visit our website to learn more about this life-changing treatment. Learn more about hemorrhoids.