H is for Hemorrhoids

No one likes to think about hemorrhoids, but they are a real possibility during and after pregnancy.  Hemorrhoids occur when the veins in your rectal area swell.  You may have experienced some hemorrhoids during pregnancy due to your uterus enlarging and putting pressure on the veins around your rectum causing them to swell.  Hemorrhoids during the postpartum period can be caused by a combination of swelling during pregnancy, increased hormones, and the strain of pushing during a vaginal delivery.  They can be internal, external, or a combination of the two.

To help with the discomfort, including itching, bleeding, swelling and pain associated with hemorrhoids, you can use a sitz bath a few times a day, witch hazel, tucks pads, avoid sitting on hard seats, drink extra water to prevent constipation, and consider taking a stool softener which many hospitals prescribe after birth.  Hemorrhoids can persist for months following the birth though the discomfort may come and go.

If your hemorrhoids seem severely painful, persist for an extended period of time, or cause uncontrollable bleeding you may want to call your doctor.

Next I will be blogging on the letter I… I is for Intimacy.