While pregnancy is a beautiful phase in any woman’s life, it comes with its own share of embarrassments too! In fact, there is no end to the embarrassing situations that fall upon an expecting mother’s lap. Well, for example, have you farted in an enclosed public space? If you think it’s horrifying, amplify that feeling multiple folds.
Most expecting mothers will agree that the digestive system goes bonkers during pregnancy. And, it is often full of surprises. But, the worst is the pooping woes. Either you go too often or you don’t feel like going at all. No matter what, it never seems to be alright. Also, why does it pain so much when you poop during pregnancy? Too many “poop questions”, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, there is a swarm of reasons why a pregnant woman experiences painful bowel movements. As per the International Urogynecology Journal, this problem is not rare among soon-to-be mothers. It can be associated with many diseases, which range from simple constipation to the bowel incontinence. In fact, a bowel continence is often linked to gas and bowel movements that hurt (1). Also, if a woman is already suffering from any gastrointestinal disease, it might get exacerbated during pregnancy. So, if you have already suffered from an inflammatory bowel disorder, you might see the symptoms worsening due to hormonal and bodily changes during pregnancy.
Another reason that is commonly cited for the sore bowel movement at the time of pregnancy is hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids refer to the medical condition where veins inside the rectum swell leading to burning sensation, bleeding, or pain. One commonly gets afflicted with this disease during pregnancy, especially around the third trimester (2).
You are more vulnerable towards hemorrhoids if you suffer from constipation since a strained bowel movement can cause swelling in veins. To break it down for you, constipation can result in infrequent and hard stools, thus, causing strain when you poop. On one hand, it will lead to irritation of the sensitive and delicate tissues present in that area. Also, on the other hand, you might not feel completely satisfied after pooping. The growing baby inside your belly can also put pressure on those big veins behind the uterus. Thus, giving birth to the much-dreaded hemorrhoids (3).
Pregnant women are more likely to suffer from hemorrhoids also because of an increase in their volume of blood. The increased blood volume can cause the vein to just swell in general. Around 35 percent of women are afflicted with hemorrhoids during pregnancy (4). If it pains or bleeds a lot, it is advisable to consult your doctor immediately. He/she will be able to guide you on how to treat these hemorrhoids effectively, thereby making things smoother for you (pun intended!).
Most people do not like talking about painful poops so much, the same way they don’t like discussing morning sickness. There is a certain ick-factor associated with it. Perhaps, that is why a lot of women are not prepared for this reality. Of course, no one believes that their body will come out of pregnancy entirely unscathed. But, while most expecting mothers are prepared for stretch marks or sagging breasts, painful poop still comes as a surprise for quite a lot of them.
However, you can soothe this pain in a number of ways. An ice pack or a warm water bath might help with the pain. You can also avoid diets that cause constipation, like the ones that involve consumption of high amounts of fiber. You can drink lots and lots of water to help with constipation too.
Meanwhile, you can take solace by thinking about how you have raised an entire being in your belly. This very thing makes you an awesome warrior. Even if it causes pain in the bums (pun intended). Good luck!