Nausea, fatigue, moodiness, back pain and swollen ankles are just some of the common side effects women may experience during pregnancy and they are often discussed with candour. Yet, when it comes to haemorrhoids, another common occurrence during pregnancy, the chat gets a little quieter.

It is believed that up to 35 per cent of pregnant women experience haemorrhoids1, particularly in the second and third trimesters2. Given the prevalence, it stands to reason that this important subject is one that pregnant women deserve to be informed about.

Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are “enlarged, swollen veins around the anus characterised by anorectal bleeding, painful bowel movements, and anal pain and itching”, according to the Australian Department of Health. Pregnant women are susceptible to haemorrhoids for several different reasons. One contributor is constipation, which is common in pregnancy. Pressure on the abdomen, increased blood flow and softening blood vessels – all side effects of pregnancy – are also risk factors3.

There are a few ways to help ease the discomfort associated with haemorrhoids. Try soaking in warm water (no soap) and avoid sitting for long periods of time. An over-the-counter remedy4, such as SOOV IT ointment, can also help provide relief. Available without a prescription, SOOV IT is an anti-inflammatory and anaesthetic ointment that helps to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with haemorrhoids and other anorectal disorders. It is formulated with hydrocortisone to help minimise inflammation, and lignocaine to help relieve pain and itching, while the emollient base helps protect skin from further aggravation and chafing. The measured-dose applicator makes the process of soothing haemorrhoids quick and easy.

A healthy, high-fibre diet (include fruit, vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals, nuts and seeds, and pulses), plenty of water and regular exercise will help to relieve or prevent constipation. You can also ask your health care provider to recommend a safe fibre supplement and/or stool softener to take during pregnancy3. If symptoms persist, see your GP.

Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional. 

If you are pregnant, intend to become pregnant or you are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed, please consult your healthcare professional before using SOOV IT.  Your healthcare professional will discuss the risks and benefits of using SOOV IT when pregnant or breastfeeding.