Don’t let Piles weigh you down in pregnancy!
Healing Hands Clinic
Although pregnancy is the most delightful phase in a woman’s life, there is no denying that it is also the most challenging one. It’s probably the first time in a healthy woman’s life that she encounters changes in her body that although physiological, make her uneasy and bothered. The skin gets dry and itchy, there is breathlessness, acidity and of course morning sickness. Amongst the many changes going on within the body, an alarming one could be piles.
Piles or hemorrhoids are enlarged veins at the junction of anus and rectum and are extremely common in pregnancy and after childbirth.
Although anybody can get piles, pregnancy in its later stages makes one more susceptible to it, as the hormone Progesterone tends to relax the veins. Thus, the veins in the lower rectum and anal area becomes engorged and swollen. In addition to this, the increased pressure of the growing uterus on the blood vessels leads to pooling of blood within them, causing them to lose elasticity and become enlarged and tortuous. These altered veins are what we call Piles or Hemorrhoids. Constipation, extremely common in pregnancy, could be the cause as well as an aggravating factor of piles. The constipation is also caused by Progesterone, which makes the gut sluggish. The stools become harder and require effort to expel. The pressure exerted to push out these hard stools further aggravates the piles.
Commonest symptom of piles is bleeding during defecation. Although usually without any symptoms, at times there may be itching or pain in the area. The veins may sit within the anus or may pop in and out during defecation. Occasionally, in advanced cases there may be one or more lumps that remain outside at the anal rim and may be painful on touch.
Piles during pregnancy usually resolves by itself once the baby is born. However, blood on the pot can be alarming especially during an emotionally overwhelming state like pregnancy. There are certain precautions you may take to avoid having them, which may also help those with early grades of piles. Avoiding constipation is of utmost importance. A diet rich in fiber and increasing fluid intake will ensure this. You may take stool softeners that are safe during pregnancy. While sleeping, lie on your left side. This reduces the pressure on the veins. Pregnancy yoga or walking is also beneficial. In case the problem persists, it is best to seek medical advice.
Since pregnancy is delicate state, strong medications are not advised. Anything that is recommended needs to support the wellbeing of the fetus and the mother. Keeping this in mind, non-invasive treatment options are given to pregnant women suffering from piles. These include Ayurvedic herbal formulations, oil remedies and Pelvic floor physiotherapy.