The very painful feeling all pregnant women, especially those in their 3rd trimester have to go through when having to poop…Yes, Hemorrhoids.
This condition is medically defined as “swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus.” They can become so engorged that they may have to be removed surgically, other times, you can just tuck it back in your bottom (with very clean hands). As nasty as this sounds, there are a few things that we still need to know about this pooping disaster that surprisingly befalls many. Find out below:
1. Everybody has Hemorrhoids
Alexis Grucela, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center says that hemorrhoids are totally normal but shocking to a lot of people. They’re anal tissue that gives us extra support in the anal canal. Just like pelvic floor muscles help keep urine from leaking out when you cough or laugh, hemorrhoid tissue does the same for stool and gas.
2. Not all Hemorrhoids are painful
Anything from straining to go to the bathroom because of chronic constipation, excess belly weight, pregnancy, or even lots of long-distance running will cause the blood vessels in the anal region to dilate, which means more blood will flow in that region causing the hemorrhoid tissue to swell and bleed.
3. There are two main types of Hemorrhoids
- External Hemorrhoids – External hemorrhoids occur right at the anal opening and are covered with skin. They also have nerves, which means when you experience sensations like pain, itching, and burning, the external hemorrhoids are affected.
- Internal Hemorrhoids – These are inside the anal canal. You can’t see them, and they are not covered with skin so you won’t feel any symptoms from them, either. However, internal hemorrhoids might bleed, and, if the situation gets really bad, they can fall out of the anus.
4. They are uncomfortable but not harmful
Hemorrhoids cause no direct harm to your health. They’re not related to cancer in any way either. The only cause for concern is if they begin to bleed excessively, that could lead to anemia.
5. Examine your toilet habits
A lot of people tend to sit on the toilet with their phones, laptop or a book. Younger people refer to it as an escape place. However, sitting with your butt cheeks spread over the toilet seat, the pressure grows on anal tissue, contributing to blood pooling in hemorrhoids and making them swell. Limit time on the toilet, don’t bring reading materials and leave your phone in the bedroom.
6. Constipation is a major culprit
All that straining and pushing increases the pressure that can lead to inflamed hemorrhoids. Treating any constipation is the second step in standard hemorrhoid treatment, and the easiest way to do that is to drink enough fluids and eat enough fiber. That way, it will be softer and pass through less traumatically.