Do you suffer from hemorrhoids after delivery? You are not the only one, about 70% of all women suffer from hemorrhoids during pregnancy or after delivery. Besides the fact that they are very annoying, hemorrhoids are not harmful to your health. However, you may suffer from itching, a burning sensation and pain with your anus. Read more about what hemorrhoids are exactly and (more importantly) what you can do to treat them.
What are hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the anus. They look like balls that have a red or purple color. Hemorrhoids can be in the anus, these are not visible, but also occur outside the anus. These are visible.
How do hemorrhoids occur?
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are caused by the pregnancy hormones and in particular the hormone progesterone. Hemorrhoids after childbirth are caused by pressing during labor. The blood vessels and tissue around the anus are sensitive to pressure. When a high pressure is placed on the anus for a long period of time, the blood vessels and the tissue stretch and become irritated. This causes hemorrhoids.
How do you know if you have hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are not harmful to your health, but very annoying. You have hemorrhoids if you:
- Have a feeling of pressure with your anus.
- You have pain, itching or a burning sensation with your anus.
- You may lose some blood or mucus during defecation (this is not bad).
What can you do if you suffer from hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids after delivery is very annoying and it can take a while before you are cured. How long this takes is not easy to indicate in advance. Below we have some tips for you to alleviate the pain and speed up the healing process. Before you proceed to one of the treatments below, always inform your midwife first. She can also assist you with many tips.
Eat a lot of fiber and drink a lot of moisture
The very first tip is a natural way to alleviate the pain: Eating a lot of fiber and drinking lots of fluid. Fibers ensure that the stool remains soft. Soft stool is easier to squeeze out and therefore also hurts less. Fibers include vegetables, fruit, whole grain products and legumes.
Curanol is a popular ointment to use against the hemorrhoids after delivery. That is because you can lubricate curanol when you breastfeed. Curanol you apply a few times a day to your anus. The ointment ensures that the skin remains more elastic around. You can also buy curanol in the form of curanol tablets, which enhance the effect of the ointment. Curanol can be purchased through your midwife, in the pharmacy or on the internet.
Ice compresses can help very well against the itching and pain. The hemorrhoids will also temporarily shrink. Because the place is not very easy to reach, you can do the following:
- Ice cubes in a washcloth.
- Let a tampon fill with water and freeze it.
- Fill a bag with jam or peas and freeze it (you can bend it later in the appropriate shape).
Before you put ice or anything else that is frozen on your sore spot, it is important that you first wrap it in a hydrophilic cloth, washcloth or tea towel.
Spray 5 times a day a nasal spray consisting of a saline solution on the hemorrhoids. This helps against the pain and itching. The hemorrhoids will also shrink. The difference is already noticeable after a few days.
Other tips against hemorrhoids after delivery
Below are a few other tips that can help against hemorrhoids after delivery:
- Do not scratch! Crabs only make it worse, so even if you feel that urge: keep yourself!
- Do not use damp toilet paper. Here is perfume in what is not good for the hemorrhoids. Instead of these wipes you can make toilet paper a little wet or buy special tamper cloths at the pharmacy or chemist.
- Go straight to the bathroom when you feel pressure. If you postpone it, the stool will only become harder.
- Do not try to squeeze when unloading, but just let it come. Indeed: this can take some time.
- Do physical exercise. This can make your stool a bit thinner and smoother. Start with walking up and down in the house and continue to expand this.
- If you have a lot of pain, paracetamol can help.
- Keep the hemorrhoids clean by cleaning the spot with lukewarm water under the shower at least once a day.
- Do not sit on a so-called pool, this may be just as nice, but it can eventually all get worse.
Have you been suffering from hemorrhoids after delivery for more than a month? Then call in your doctor!