A pregnant woman laying on the ground with roses
A group of pregnant women standing next to each other.

Pregnancy & Post-Pregnancy Hemorrhoids/ Skin Tags & Anorectal Changes

Unfortunately, hemorrhoids during pregnancy are common.

Causes of hemorrhoids during pregnancy include:

  • Hormonal changes, especially a rise in progesterone
  • Constipation
  • Standing for prolonged periods of time
  • Increased pelvic pressure during the third trimester as the baby gets bigger and descends deeper in the pelvis.

The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids are pain and swelling due to inflammation of the external hemorrhoids. Bleeding and itching can also occur. If you have symptoms, Dr. Moore can confirm the diagnosis and rule out more serious causes. In most cases, hemorrhoids will go away. However, especially if the area is very swollen and inflamed, they can result in extra skin or skin tags, and then the only definitive treatment would be excision.

To prevent hemorrhoids:

  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat a high-fiber diet.
  • Avoid straining or sitting on the toilet for prolonged periods of time.
  • During the third trimester, lay on your left side to take the weight of the baby off the pelvic floor.
  • Ask your physician about stool softeners to avoid constipation.

Treatment of hemorrhoids during pregnancy

  • Apply ice packs to the affected area for the first 24–36 hours.
  • Soak in warm water.
  • Apply witch hazel pads.
  • Apply hydrocortisone ointment if approved by your obstetrician.
  • Surgery may be necessary in extreme cases.

It is natural to have anorectal changes following pregnancy, with residual skin tags or darkening of the perianal skin. These are harmless, but if you feel self-conscious or annoyed, remedies such as skin tag removal or anal bleaching can help give you the confidence you may desire, especially during intimate moments.