What are hemorrhoids? Hemorrhoids, otherwise known as ‘piles’ originate from the Latin word pila which means a ‘ball’, owing to the round shape of this bothersome mass that protrudes in the anus. In human anatomy, the final section of the large intestine is the rectum, which ends in the ring shaped anus.
Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins (blood vessels that carry oxygen-depleted blood back towards the heart) in and around the anus or rectum. Piles may remain inside the rectum (internal) or slip outside (external).
What causes hemorrhoids? Commonly, prolonged standing by action of gravity or any body changes that causes blood to pool and exert pressure in the dependent portion of the rectum causes the veins around it to swell and become painful. There are a number of culprits to this nagging disorder. In some rare instances, piles may mask a more serious underlying condition such as colon or rectal cancer. Therefore, proper diagnosis and treatment by a specialist cannot be undermined.
The First Four Ps to Remember: Piles Prevail in Pregnancy due to Progesterone The following can be a handful of information but is vital to trace the route leading to the 4 Ps: Progesterone is known as the major hormone supporting pregnancy. It is produced by the corpus luteum or simply from the empty house (follicle) of the mommy’s egg when it is released to meet the daddy’s sperm to form into a baby. Progesterone causes the lining of the mommy’s womb to secrete special proteins so that the baby could cling, be nourished, and survive.
This precious hormone softens and smoothes body tissues such as the womb to prevent premature labor contractions and, more importantly, to relax the intestinal tract. The latter’s purpose is to slow down the digestive process so that more nutrients can be extracted from the food taken by the mother to be utilized by her baby. However, this results to constipation which is among the most common complaints of ‘preggies’. Straining during defecation then increases pressure and swells the anorectal veins causing pain, discomfort and bleeding…hence the piles of pregnancy.
Click here to see the other five Ps to know about hemorrhoids during pregnancy.