Say the word “hemorrhoid” and chances are you’ll be met with uncomfortable looks. However, there’s also a good chance that the people around you know exactly what you're talking about. Doctors don’t know exactly how many people have hemorrhoids, but they know that many do. People tend not to report hemorrhoids unless they are causing problems. Some groups of people are more prone to developing the condition and it’s estimated that at least 25 to 35 percent of women who are pregnant or who have just had a vaginal delivery develop them. Hemorrhoids are enlarged and swollen blood vessels that can range from pea-size to much larger. They can be internal, not seen, or outside the anal opening.
Pregnant women are at risk for developing hemorrhoids for three main reasons:
Signs of Hemorrhoids
If you feel pain or burning when you are moving your bowels, see some bright red blood on your toilet tissue, or there is a feeling of fullness in your anus even if you are not having a bowel movement, you may have hemorrhoids. If you have external hemorrhoids, you may be able to feel them when wiping.
If hemorrhoids are causing pain or discomfort, here are some tricks to try for some relief.
If you are in too much pain, there is bleeding, or you have tried these methods and you don’t feel any improvement, it would be best to call your doctor or midwife for advice.
Battling the Bumps
Although there’s no guarantee you won’t get hemorrhoids, there are things you can do to reduce your risk.