Postpartum hemorrhoids are known to affect many women primarily due to the heavy pushing movements involved in labor and delivery process. Hemorrhoids are unusually swollen blood vessels (similar to varicose veins), especially around the rectal area or protruding out of the anus. Dealing with hemorrhoids can be quite frustrating since they may be itchy, painful, or even cause bleeding (rectal bleeding).
In addition to the pushing during the labor process, they are caused due to the pressure exerted by the growing uterus on the pelvic veins, which causes them to become enlarged. Also the increased levels of hormone progesterone, causes the walls of the veins to relax, which allows them to swell easily. Constipation, which is another common problem found during pregnancy leads to straining, which can cause or aggravate the hemorrhoids.
Usually, the chances of hemorrhoids appearing can be reduced by ensuring a high fiber diet during pregnancy. They do disappear on their own naturally over the weeks after pregnancy.
Few Tips To Reduce Postpartum Hemorrhoids-
One of the things to do, is to include ample amount of fiber in your diet and to use additional natural supplements like flaxseeds, psyllium etc. The fiber will help deal with constipation and reduce the hemorrhoids gradually.
Medicated ointments or those containing certain herbs like Witch Hazel and certain oils like peppermint or lavender, have been used since decades to help relieve their effect.
Maintain adequate hygiene around the rectal area, by washing it with a cleanser after every bowel movement, and drying the area after that with a cloth or hair dryer.
Place hemorrhoid pads or absorbent pads over the area, along with medicated ointment applied over.
Alternate between walking, sitting and sleeping to help ease the pressure on the affected area. Walking, due to its very nature enhances blood circulation to the area and may help in faster healing.
Some find temporary relief by applying ice packs over the affected area, since it helps reduce swelling.
Kegel exercises, which focus on strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, performed throughout the pregnancy as well as after delivery, can help ease the situation by increasing the blood flow to the vaginal region.
However, in case they bleed or cause pain during sexual activity or activities of daily living, some medical intervention may be required.
Avoid lifting heavy weights, as this may put strain on the core muscles and muscles surrounding the rectal area, causing pain.
Lack of care could worsen the situation by increasing the chances of developing infection or worsen the rectal bleeding and demand surgical intervention.
While it may not be possible to avoid hemorrhoids completely, reducing the chances of it occurring or at least worsening can be avoided through above mentioned ways, as discussed.