What No One Told You About Pregnancy: Part 1 The Other Varicose Vein

Just when you were getting used to wearing compression stockings for varicose veins on your legs, the pregnancy police blindsides you with yet another secret;  hemorrhoids. Yes ladies, the hemorrhoid is actually a varicose vein that makes its lovely appearance on your rectum. And, you thought your belly would be the only place to grow a bump. You may be asking what causes these painful little guys to appear and why are they so darn itchy?

  • Your Getting Bigger: Sorry to state the obvious, but itʼs true. Your growing uterus is putting pressure on your lower body, including your rectum.
  • Your Hormonal: Your pregnant hormones are causing the walls of your veins to to take a vacation and relax, thus allowing them to swell more easily.
  • Prenatal Horse Pills: The extra iron you are getting from these gigantic, yet very important pills, is hardening your bowels which can lead to constipation.
  • Burn Baby, Burn: Hemorrhoids can be painful, especially when irritated by the daily use of toilet paper. The possibility of the area not being able to kept as clean as usual, plus this irritation, can cause an uncomfortable itch.

By now you are wondering how you can treat and prevent these horrible buggers from ever occurring again. Below is a list of ways to comfort your symptoms as well as tips for changing your lifestyle so that they never come back.

  • Hot & Cold Treatments: Alternate with a cold compress to reduce swelling and a warm bath to soothe and comfort.
  • Witch Hazel: Your grandmother most likely used this method. Saturate a cotton ball with witch hazel and apply to the affected area to cool, clean and soothe all at the same time.
  • Pre-moistened Wipes: You will prefer these to rough, dry toilet paper any day. If you do use toilet paper, make sure it is does not contain color or fragrance to lessen the chance of irritation.
  • OTC Ointment: Ask your healthcare practitioner to recommend a safe topical cream (such as Preparation-H or Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm) to help shrink the hemorrhoid. Most of these products should be used for a week or less as to prevent even more inflammation or thinning of the skin tissue.
  • Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables: A diet high in fiber will help keep your bowels regular thus preventing constipation and strain. If you canʼt stomach the raw stuff, try a fiber supplement that you can mix with water or juice. Be sure to talk to your healthcare practitioner beforehand to get his/her approval.
  • Drink, Drink, Drink: Fluids will help wash that fiber down and will keep your system hydrated.
  • Exercise: It keeps your blood flowing so that it doesnʼt pool to the lower half of your body causing varicose veins in your legs, rectum and vulva. Yes; they can appear there, too.

Hemorrhoids usually get better with the methods above, but if not you may need to seek out a specialist for treatment. Although rare, minor surgery may be required to correct the problem.

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