What can I do to treat hemorrhoids during pregnancy?
Answer From Mary Marnach, M.D.
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in and around the anus and lower rectum. To ease the discomfort of hemorrhoids during pregnancy:
- Soak in warm water. Soak in a tub filled with warm water. Don't put soap or bubble bath in the water.
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Sitting puts pressure on the veins in the anus and rectum. Stand up and move around during the day. Take frequent breaks or sit on a hemorrhoid pillow, also known as a ring cushion or doughnut.
- Use an over-the-counter remedy. Apply witch hazel medicated pads to the anal area. Or ask a health care provider to recommend a hemorrhoid cream or rectal suppository that's safe to use during pregnancy.
Keep in mind that constipation contributes to hemorrhoids during pregnancy. To relieve or prevent constipation:
- Include adequate amounts of fiber in your diet by eating lots of fruits and vegetables
- Ask your health care provider to recommend a safe fiber supplement to take during pregnancy
- Ask your health care provider to recommend a safe stool softener to take during pregnancy
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Include physical activity in your daily routine
If your hemorrhoids get worse, talk to your health care provider. Surgical treatment might be recommended after pregnancy.
April 29, 2022
See more Expert Answers
- Bianco A. Maternal adaptations to pregnancy: Gastrointestinal tract. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed March 28, 2022.
- FAQs: Problems of the digestive system. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/problems-of-the-digestive-system. Accessed March 28, 2022.
- Witch hazel. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com/. Accessed March 28, 2022.
- What can I do for hemorrhoids during pregnancy? American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. https://www.acog.org/womens-health/experts-and-stories/ask-acog/what-can-i-do-for-hemorrhoids-during-pregnancy. Accessed March 28, 2022.
- Landon MB, et al., eds. Gastrointestinal diseases in pregnancy. In: Gabbe's Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 8th ed. Elsevier; 2021. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 28, 2022.