Medical Q&As

Piles - during pregnancy

I am 5 months pregnant and I have soreness and itchiness in my anal passage but I also have it around my vagina. I was wondering whether it was piles or something else. What treatment is safe to use. I have only ever suffered from piles after my last child was born but never during pregnancy. I am not suffering from constipation.

The anal symptoms you refer to sound like piles and it is quite possible that the vaginal symptoms are related. During pregnancy the increasing weight of the baby and the womb increases the pressure within the pelvic veins so that they become engorged with blood. This can give rise to internal and external piles but it can also cause swelling in the veins of the vulva and vagina. In some cases the veins in the vulva may actually stand out more because of the engorgement. After the birth the vulval veins return to normal size and the piles usually diminish in size. However, in some cases the piles might persist. There are several OTC (over the counter) creams and ointments available that are safe to use in the treatment of piles during pregnancy. It is also important to increase your intake of roughage in order to prevent constipation. Given the fact that you are suffering these symptoms at five months it is particularly important that you pay special attention to your diet even though I note your comment that you are not currently constipated.