Haemorrhoids (piles)

Haemorrhoids are swollen veins in or around the lower rectum and anus. They’re also called piles.

What can cause haemorrhoids?
Pregnancy hormones can make your veins relax, including the veins in the rectum and anus. Constipation too can cause or worsen piles.

Who can get piles?
Haemorrhoids don’t just happen in pregnancy; anyone can get piles. When you’re pregnant, piles can occur because hormones make your veins relax.

Symptoms of haemorrhoids

  • You may feel sore and itchiness in the anus
  • You may feel the lumpiness of haemorrhoids around your anus
  • They may also bleed a little and make going to the toilet uncomfortable or painful
  • You may have pain when passing a stool and possibly a discharge of mucus afterward
  • You may also feel as though your bowels are still full and need emptying

Can haemorrhoids resolve?
Haemorrhoids do usually go away within weeks after birth.

How to ease haemorrhoids
Here some of the ways you can ease your haemorrhoid symptoms:

  • Ensure that your stool is soft by eating plenty of fiber-rich food like whole grain rice, fruits, and vegetables
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent constipation
  • Avoid standing for long periods
  • Exercise regularly to improve your circulation
  • Use a cloth wrung out in iced water to ease the pain by holding it gently against the haemorrhoids
  • Use a lubricating jelly to gently push the haemorrhoid back inside if they stick out
  • Avoid straining to pass a stool as this may make your haemorrhoids worse
  • Clean your anus with water or moist toilet paper
  • Pad the area instead of rubbing it
  • You should go see the doctor if you can’t push haemorrhoids back inside when they stick out

What else can you use to relieve haemorrhoids?
There are medicines that can help soothe inflammation around your anus. These treat the symptoms but not the cause of haemorrhoids. 

Ask your doctor, midwife, or pharmacist if they can suggest a suitable ointment to help ease the pain. Don’t use a cream or medication without checking with them first.


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