All you need to know about Haemorrhoids in pregnancy

BBaby Magazine

 

It’s something many people don’t talk about but can happen during pregnancy. Mr Nick West, Consultant Colorectal Surgeon at The Private Clinic of Harley Street tells you all you need to know about Haemorrhoids in pregnancy.

Why do some women get haemorrhoids during pregnancy?

“Haemorrhoids are caused from dilated blood vessels due to increased pressure on the pelvis.  There are many different factors that can cause this increased pressure; these include being overweight, going to the loo too much or too little, lots of heavy lifting, as well as being pregnant.

“You may tend to develop haemorrhoids around 25 weeks into your pregnancy. This is because the veins below the uterus are more likely to become swollen and stretched as the weight of the growing baby puts increased pressure on them. When you are pregnant, you are also more susceptible to constipation and the straining on the toilet that comes with this can aggravate, or even cause, haemorrhoids.  The extra straining puts increased pressure on the veins in your rectal area, causing them to swell and bulge.

“It is also possible for haemorrhoids to develop postpartum (after the birth) due to the pushing that takes place during labour.”

Why do I have haemorrhoids, when my pregnant friend hasn’t got any?

“If you have suffered from haemorrhoids in the past, then you are much more likely to suffer from them again when you are pregnant. You can, however, reduce your susceptibility by taking various preventative measures.

“These include Kegal exercises that help strengthen the muscles around the vagina, urethra and anus, avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time and keeping as active as possible.  A regular walking regime will help keep your bowels moving normally.”

How do I know how to spot Haemorrhoids if they are not protruding?

“Haemorrhoids can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful if complicated by strangulation for example, so even if they aren’t yet protruding you are likely to know that something isn’t right.  The most common symptoms are lumps around the anus (they may not need to protrude from inside), itching, irritation, aching or discomfort and bleeding.”

Why should I take this seriously?

“Haemorrhoids may go away on their own but they may persist or become worse over time but bleeding and or pain may be due to other conditions that may need more urgent treatment, so if symptoms persist, it is better to get checked by your doctor or a specialist colorectal surgeon.”

What can I do to treat them?

“Haemorrhoids are a significant concern for millions of people in the UK and one that is thought to affect approximately 50% of the population at some point in their lives.  Despite this, it’s a condition that goes not just largely undiscussed, due to the embarrassment that many people feel when it comes to talking about it, but also largely untreated.

“In some cases, haemorrhoids will often settle down after childbirth as the pressure on the pelvis reduced; however, this isn’t always the case.

“There are many non-surgical methods that can help to ease and prevent further haemorrhoids forming.  These include:

  • Staying hydrated and drinking lots of water
  • Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet e.g. wholegrain bread, cereal, fruit and vegetables
  • Avoiding constipation
  • Avoiding straining or spending too long on the toilet
  • Using baby wipes or moist toilet paper rather than dry paper
  • Patting instead of rubbing with toilet paper
  • Over-the-counter treatments and pain killers

“If the above do little to help to improve your symptoms, then it is probably time to seek help from a specialist.

“One treatment option that could be available to you is the Rafaelo procedure.  This is a treatment that offers a long-term solution to haemorrhoids without the pain, discomfort and lengthy recovery time that often comes with traditional haemorrhoid treatments. The haemorrhoids are treated using radiofrequency  and the procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic, if appropriate to do so,  and can take as little as 15 minutes. You can find out more information on this treatment method, here.”

Will haemorrhoids be a problem all my life, or if I have them treated now will that sort it out?

“Whilst it is unlikely, it is possible that haemorrhoids can reoccur even after they have been treated successfully. As a result, the treatment of haemorrhoids also involves prevention strategies following the procedure and it is important you make the necessary lifestyle adjustments to reduce the risk of them returning. This includes staying active, not straining on the toilet, avoiding lots of heavy lifting and looking after your bowel.”

*All images, videos and testimonials are based on the personal experiences of our patients and represent individual body shapes and results. Results may vary from person to person. All testimonials are provided voluntarily by our patients and clients and all photos and videos have been consented to and have not been altered in any way.

A FAMILY man who was too ashamed to show his bare legs because of severe varicose veins has undergone a procedure to remove them.
Rob Crowley, 35, suffered with varicose veins so badly they covered his legs from top to bottom and left him in agonising pain.
Despite being an avid swimmer, he was too self conscious to swim at his local pool.
The Wolverhampton resident, who is a butcher by profession, is often required to stand for long periods of time each day – something which made each and every working day incredibly painful for him.
Speaking about the condition, Rob said: “Whenever I was standing up for a prolonged period of time, my legs would throb which was extremely painful and as you can imagine.
“Being a butcher, I was on my feet for the majority of the day so this was a huge problem for me.”
But it wasn’t just physical pain getting to Rob, he was also suffering from mean taunting and teasing.
On the rare occasion he did show his legs, children would point at them and make comments.
He revealed: “The veins on my legs would make me really self-conscious, especially in the summer. When I was on holiday with my family I would buy really long shorts in order to cover them up. If children did see them, they would point.”
Several years ago, Rob opted to undergo a surgical procedure on the NHS in an effort to remove his veins.
But it wasn’t successful and Rob’s varicose veins returned – more prominent and painful than ever before.
“The pain afterwards was horrendous. But I was then told that the NHS would not fund any further treatment so I looked into private alternatives.
“All the reviews and information I found online pointed me in the direction of The Private Clinic.”
Rob took charge of his health and organised a meeting with Mr Rajiv Kumar Vohra, a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at The Private Clinic in Birmingham.
Mr Vohra advised Rob that a minimally invasive method of varicose veins removal, known as Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLA), would be the best option for him.
The treatment works by inserting a very fine probe into the patient’s leg and delivering laser energy to seal faulty veins, preventing blood from flowing through them. The procedure not only removes the appearance of varicose veins but it also removes the discomfort caused by their presence.
After a couple of weeks of wearing compression garments, Rob was able to appreciate the full results of the treatment. His veins had disappeared and his self confidence had been restored.
He explained: “I couldn’t be happier with the results. Before I would avoid going swimming, which is something I love to do; now I go three times a week!”

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