Managing the Pain: At-Home Treatments
You should contact your physician if you are experiencing pain. You'll want to eliminate other possibilities including skin disease, infections, and tumors. If there has been bleeding, your colon should be examined to exclude the possibility of colon cancer and polyps.
One reason pregnant women tend to get problem hemorrhoids is frequent constipation due to hormonal changes. According to Dr. Pamela Berens, MD, professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, these changes include "increased venous pressure caused by the enlarging pelvic mass—otherwise known as the pregnant uterus and baby."
You can ease constipation and potentially reduce hemorrhoid discomfort by exercising regularly (even gentle walking can help) and eating well-balanced, healthy meals including more fiber and liquids. Doctors may suggest a bulk stool softener or fiber supplement.
Despite drinking lots of fluids, LeBron's situation didn't improve. Her symptoms were accentuated by pregnancy but didn't disappear after delivery. This is a common problem for many new moms, particularly if there were difficulties with a vaginal delivery or the use of pain medications with C-sections, which increase the likelihood of becoming constipated, explains Dr. Berens. "Studies report that 30 percent of women still experience hemorrhoids eight weeks after delivery," she adds.
Wendy advises new moms to be proactive in treating constipation so it doesn't lead to bad hemorrhoids or fissures, or small tear in the anal canal. "Use prune juice, stool softeners, and other safe remedies to keep your stool loose," says Wendy. "Keep in mind that what works for one mom may not work for another—fiber product and mineral oil did nothing for me."
Wendy admits she avoided taking stool softeners and sitz baths which ultimately led to more painful hemorrhoids and a fissure that had to be surgically removed. "If I would have followed with my self-care until I was fully healed, I could have avoided a lot of pain," says Wendy.