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Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful phases of a woman’s life. However, it can also be unnerving. Apart from causing side effects such as vomiting, increased urination, dizziness, it can also sometimes cause blood in stools.
It is mainly due to an increase in the progesterone hormone, which happens in pregnancy. Progesterone causes reduced motility of the bowels and constipation, which in turn can lead to anal fissures and bleeding in the stools.
An anal fissure is a small tear in the mucosa and it can occur when one passes hard stools. This condition can lead to pain in the anal region and bleeding, which occurs with the bowel movements. The bleeding usually starts with a trickle, lasting for a few seconds to minutes, but not for more than 10 minutes. Pregnant women can also see a crack in the skin around the anal region or a small skin tag around, if they suffer from an anal fissure.
Haemorrhoids, or piles, are one of the major causes of blood in stools, which occur commonly in pregnancy, with a probability of around 25-35 percent. The severity of haemorrhoids increases with the gestational age of pregnancy. A larger weight of the gravid uterus and increase in the blood circulation during pregnancy also can add to a higher chance of having haemorrhoids.
When due to haemorrhoids, the blood vessels around the anus get inflamed and swell up, it leads to bleeding, itching and even pain while sitting. Usually, haemorrhoids regress within a few weeks of delivery.
If a pregnant woman sees blood in her stool or dark coloured stool, another common cause of it might be taking iron and calcium supplements during pregnancy, which are important for childbirth.
Iron tablets can cause constipation or diarrhoea, and produce dark coloured stools, but rarely bleeding. Calcium, on the other hand, can lead to constipation too but has higher chances of causing bleeding in stools. If bleeding continues, stop the supplements for a few days and take on alternate days for a short time. However, they cannot be completely stopped.
Other rare causes of bleeding in stool include inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease) and anorectal cancers. These need to be evaluated carefully.
The following remedies can be tried:
Be cautious because during pregnancy. It is always safe to report to your Obstetrician and have yourself examined to have a safe motherhood journey.