Anyone who feeds the search engine with this combination for the first time is mostly confronted with the following two questions:
- How do you actually spell hemorrhoids?
- How do I get rid of these things as quickly as possible?
Good news first: The search engine forgives teething problems with spelling. Another fact that does not cure but does good: you are not alone! It is estimated that every second western woman is confronted with hemorrhoidal disease in the course of her life. As if this wasn't annoying enough, it usually occurs during pregnancy and/or after childbirth. Not that there is a good time to suffer from hemorrhoids - but during pregnancy or after childbirth, you could probably happily do without them. But while "they" are here, extensive information can be helpful. In this post, we've gathered all the info you need about these unwelcome companions:
- What are hemorrhoids?
- Hemorrhoids during pregnancy
- Hemorrhoids after childbirth
- 8 helpful tips for treatment & prevention
- Prevention with the help of a toilet stool
What are hemorrhoids?
To save your honor, everyone has hemorrhoids. They are essentially just well perfused vascular cushions at the exit of the rectum. Together with the sphincter muscles, they ensure that the bowel closes securely to the outside and nothing escapes unintentionally. So we should be happy about our hemorrhoids! #hemorrhoidpositivity
But when pain and bleeding suddenly appear, the enthusiasm is limited...
When the - in itself useful - vascular cushions enlarge pathologically, it can become very uncomfortable for the affected person. This can manifest itself through a variety of symptoms:
- Burning at the anus
- Bleeding during defecation or when cleaning the bowels
- In rare cases (severe) pain
All these complaints can be very distressing. Especially since the subject of hemorrhoids is still far too often taboo and those affected wait a long time before seeking medical help. But when you notice fresh blood during bowel movements for the first time, the shock is often deep. Especially during pregnancy, this can cause unnecessary anxiety. A brief conversation with a doctor can quickly alleviate the fear and reduce the suffering.
Causes of hemorrhoids
Enlarged hemorrhoids often develop because the tissues that support the veins in the anal area weaken with age. There may also be a genetic predisposition.
In any case, the following factors increase the risk of hemorrhoidal disease:
- Poor diet (not enough fiber & not enough to drink).
- Too little exercise
- Hard stools (and the associated pressing too hard)
- Chronic constipation
- Frequent diarrhea (caused by chronic diseases or the abuse of laxatives)
- Tissue weakness (genetic or due to hormonal changes)
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy
During pregnancy, the female body performs true miracles. The pregnancy hormones play a crucial role in this process. They dilate the vessels and loosen the body tissues. As a result, the woman's body is optimally prepared for pregnancy and the birth of the child. However, an unpleasant side effect is that this also creates optimal conditions for hemorrhoid problems and varicose veins. Often, it is only in the shower that one notices that small lumps have formed on the anus that were not there before. This is by no means a rare occurrence.
After all, with the child and the uterus, the pressure on the intestines also grows. This in turn can lead to slower bowel activity during pregnancy and, as a result, to constipation. The pressure on the blood vessels at the anus is also increased many times over due to the pressing during toilet use and during birth. This often leads to the appearance of enlarged hemorrhoids.
In most cases, this is only an aesthetic problem. However, in some cases, the appearance of hemorrhoids is also associated with hygiene problems and moderate to severe pain. At the latest then, the gynecologist should be consulted immediately. If necessary, he or she can also recommend a proctologist.
Hemorrhoids after childbirth
It is widely known that pushing during childbirth can release undreamt-of forces. However, the fact that not only the child but also sometimes the above-mentioned blood vessels see the light of day is rather insider knowledge. Hardly anyone talks openly about the numerous challenges that the postpartum period brings with it. In addition to possible birth injuries such as perineal lacerations or cesarean wounds, hemorrhoids are unfortunately among the many challenges a new mother must overcome.
However, the days after the birth are not only characterized by waiting for the milk to come in, but also by trepidation before the first bowel movement. As anxious as midwives are to log it as soon as possible, many mothers would like to put it off as long as possible. However, there are a few tricks that can make the first bowel movement after birth much easier:
- Drink plenty of fluids (unsweetened teas & water).
- Magnesium (taking magnesium can soften the stool and make the first bowel movement more comfortable - ask your midwife or gynecologist)
- In the beginning, do not clean with toilet paper as usual, but preferably use a bidet, take a short shower, or provide a pot of lukewarm water to rinse.
- Moisten toilet paper beforehand and dab only lightly.
Hemorrhoids treatment - 8 helpful tips.
What to do about hemorrhoids? How can you prevent hemorrhoids, apart from ointments and medications? Treatment for hemorrhoids addresses many different issues. As so often, exercise and proper nutrition play a crucial role.
8 Tips - so you can treat & prevent their hemorrhoids naturally:
Toilet stools: toilet stools are beneficial for hemorrhoids because they change the angle of the body when sitting, reducing pressure on the vessels at the anus. This can not only prevent problems, but also provide relief from acute pain. This ergonomically sensible posture is still preferred during toilet use in the Asian region. This may also explain why the hemorrhoid problem is a much greater one in Western countries.
High fiber diet: a high fiber diet (grains, vegetables & fruits) can prevent constipation and thus reduce pressure on the vessels at the anus. (Psyllium husks are real fiber boosters and taste especially good in smoothies, cereals or soups).
Drink plenty: drink plenty to keep stools soft and prevent constipation. (At least 1.5 liters of unsweetened liquid such as water or teas a day).
Exercise: Regular exercise, such as light walking or swimming, can help promote blood flow in the legs, reducing pressure on the vessels. Avoid sports that involve a lot of jumping or bouncing (such as tennis, aerobics, or squash).
Sitz bath: soak a bathtub, shower tray, or appropriately sized vessel in a sitz bath and add a few drops of oak bark extract. Oak bark is a proven herbal home remedy and has an anti-itch and anti-inflammatory effect. The extract can be used not only for hemorrhoids, but also for perineal lacerations. It is best to ask at your pharmacy.
Flushes: In the postpartum period, you can resort to douching instead of sitz baths. To do this, simply prepare a liter jug of lukewarm (not too hot!) water and add a few drops of oak bark extract. You can use this to rinse the intimate area after using the toilet. This is not only good for hemorrhoids, but is also extremely refreshing in the postpartum period and soothing for perineal injuries.
Alternatively, add 2 teaspoons of pure sea salt from the drugstore to the lukewarm water. Stir the salt until it dissolves and then rinse it over the intimate area. Contrary to all expectations, it does not burn and is very beneficial to wound healing.
Especially in the postpartum period, the need for hygiene is often greater than the time resources to do so. A simple flush in the toilet can do wonders for your well-being.
Avoid sitting or standing for long periods: Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time, especially during pregnancy and/or if you spend a lot of time in the office. Use a sitting ball or stand up regularly to promote blood circulation in the legs. Modern offices have height-adjustable desks that allow flexibility to switch between standing and sitting.
Advanced toilet etiquette: Avoid pushing too hard or sitting too long. Both put unfavorable pressure on the hemorrhoids (or perineal suture).
It's best to use an irrigation or bidet to clean up. Since neither is often available, especially when traveling, you can simply use wet wipes (sensitive) or moistened toilet paper. Both are particularly gentle on the stressed and sensitive body region.
The right technique can also have a soothing effect. Moderate dabbing with moist rather than vigorous wiping and rubbing with dry paper is clearly preferable.
Toilet stool during pregnancy
Pregnant women often spend a lot of time on the toilet. Especially in advanced pregnancy, women often struggle with frequent urination, or suffer from constipation. This in turn increases the risk of hemorrhoids. But how can you counteract this unfavorable spiral?
With the help of a toilet stool, an optimal position can be adopted. This is important because it shortens the duration of bowel movements and at the same time reduces the pressure on the hemorrhoids. In this way, one can eliminate two crucial risk factors.
Our old-fashioned sitting toilets put us in a position during defecation that does not correspond to human nature. The optimal position for defecation is not sitting, but squatting. Only in the squatting position is the rectum placed in a position that exerts little pressure on the anus and thus makes defecation enormously easier.
However, this advantageous angle can only be achieved on the conventional sitting toilet with an aid: a toilet stool. On this toilet stool, the feet are placed in an elevated position and thus a squatting position is assumed, although one still remains seated on the toilet. This reduces the pressure on the veins in the anal area and thus the risk of hemorrhoids during pregnancy. It also prevents constipation.
So, it can be said that a toilet stool can be a simple and cost-effective way to prevent hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are completely normal - everyone has them. However, pathological changes, caused by numerous risk factors, sometimes lead to itching, bleeding or pain. At the latest then one should involve medical advice.
Many pregnant women suffer from hemorrhoids, which are caused by hormone-related vasodilatation in the body - including in the anal area. Although these changes are not dangerous, the discomfort associated with them can be very bothersome. Home and natural remedies (e.g., psyllium husks, oak bark extract baths) are suitable for treating discomfort and can provide effective relief.
To prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy, make sure you eat a balanced diet rich in fiber, drink enough fluids and exercise regularly. In addition, it is advisable to adopt an ergonomically optimal squatting posture when defecating. This can be done relatively simply with the help of a so-called toilet stool.
So help your hemorrhoids stay healthy! #hemorrhoidpositivity