Postpartum Rectal Bleeding

Postpartum rectal bleeding
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Rectal bleeding refers to rectal, colon, or anus bleeding. This normally happens in the stool, the tub, or on the toilet paper as bright red blood. After a cesarean section or vaginal delivery, some women could experience postpartum rectal bleeding, along with pain and discomfort.

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Haemorrhoids, varicose veins in and around the rectum, are usually the cause of rectal bleeding during pregnancy or after you give birth.

Haemorrhoids, especially in the last trimester and in the weeks after giving birth, are relatively common during pregnancy. These swollen veins can bleed if you strain during a bowel movement or pass hard stools, a common scenario if you suffer from constipation, or rub exposed haemorrhoids when you clean.

Passing hard stools can also cause cracks in the skin of the anus as a result of constipation. These are called anal fissures, and, particularly during and just after a bowel movement, they can be very painful.

Though these are by far the most probable culprits during pregnancy and after you give birth, rectal bleeding can also result from gastrointestinal disease.

Causes of Rectal Bleeding from Postpartum

The potential causes of post-delivery rectal bleeding involve.

  • Haemorrhoids (rectal and anus swollen veins): Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester and the first few weeks after delivery. When you strain when passing hard stool as a result of postpartum constipation or when you wash the anal region using a towel, these swollen veins burst and bleed.
  • Anal fissures: Hard stools, known as anal fissures, could also cause cracks in the skin around the anus. This can be painful and can lead to bleeding.

How To Cope With Rectal Postpartum Bleeding?

Here are some of the ways to treat and soothe postpartum rectal bleeding from haemorrhoids and anal fissures.

Take a “sitting bath” several times a day by immersing your butt for about 10 to 15 minutes in warm water. You can use a portable washbasin that works in the shower, or you can easily fill a few inches of warm water with your bath. (Don’t add any soaps or bubble baths.) During your postpartum stay, most hospitals can give you the portable sitz bath basin if you ask, and you can take it home with you. Otherwise, you should purchase one at the pharmacy, 

During the bath, relaxing your anal muscles can help enhance blood flow and healing in the area. Learning how these muscles can relax can also help to make bowel movements less painful.

Simply contract the same muscles you use to prevent urinating or getting a bowel movement to locate these muscles and then relax them, as you would when performing Kegel exercises.

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Do this a couple of times as you take a bath from your spot. Do Kegel exercises to help strengthen and tone the muscles around the vagina and urethra while you’re not in the shower, too, which will help with postpartum recovery.

Some women find relief with an ice pack or cold compresses soaked in witch hazel for haemorrhoids, while others swear by a heating pad. Try alternating hot and cold treatments: start with a hot-sit bath followed by an ice pack.

Using smooth, white, unscented toilet tissue, causing less discomfort than coloured or scented varieties. Tissue moistening, too, can help. Or instead, use baby wipes or wet towelettes saturated with witch hazel.

Ask your healthcare provider to prescribe a natural topical anaesthetic or a medicated suppository for haemorrhoids. (Note: If you have had an episiotomy or tear that stretches into your rectum, it is highly important not to insert something into your rectum, even suppositories, until your healthcare provider has given you the okay.)

Many such drugs are on the market, but most of them can only be used for a brief course of treatment (a week or less). Much further inflammation can be caused by continued use.

You should take acetaminophen or ibuprofen, even though you’re breastfeeding, for immediate relief. (However, if you’re a breastfeeding mom, do not use aspirin or aspirin-containing products.) Do not take more than the prescribed amount, and speak to your midwife or doctor if the pain persists.

Bear in mind that opioid-containing drugs that might be administered during delivery, such as Percocet and Vicodin, may cause constipation, so avoid them after the first few days of delivery.

Your doctor could prescribe medicines such as stool softeners, antidepressants, and pain relievers if these home treatment steps do not provide you with relief from postpartum rectal bleeding.

When to see a doctor

If you experience the following symptoms, seek your healthcare provider’s help:

  • Important persistent or intense rectal bleeding
  • Abnormal growth in the anal area 
  • If you discover new blood in your stools
  • A change in the colour of stools
  • Pain when passing or urinating.
  • Lack of stamina over the passing of stools
  • Dizziness or loss of oxygen
  • To determine the cause of blood in the stools, your doctor can schedule lab tests or imaging tests.

How To Avoid Rectal Postpartum Bleeding

In the days after you give birth, it is not unusual for your bowels to be a little slow. Because constipation also induces and irritates both haemorrhoids and anal fissures, keeping routine may help.

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Take constipation preventive steps that can minimize the risk of postpartum haemorrhoids and anal fissures, the major causes of postpartum rectal bleeding. You may be able to avoid postpartum rectal bleeding with the following steps;

Drink enough water and other healthy fluids; it can also be helpful to have a glass of fruit juice daily, particularly prune juice.

  • Eat a dietary fibre diet that includes in your daily diet whole-grain bread, beans, cereals, fresh fruits, and vegetables; eat high-fibre foods every day, such as cereals, whole-grain loaves of bread, beans, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Try adding a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your cereal in the morning, if that alone does not do the trick. (To avoid being gassy, you may want to start with a smaller amount of bran and gradually increase the amount.) 
  • Be sure to follow it with a large glass of water.
  • Listen to your body. Never put off going to the toilet, even though your butt is tender, and it is painful to do so. When you get the need waiting would only aggravate the problem. 
  • Maintain safe body weight.
  • After consulting with your doctor, take a probiotic supplement or a fibre supplement.
  • Frequently workout. Running, swimming and yoga will all help alleviate constipation and make you feel happier and fitter.
  • Ask your healthcare professional about taking a fibre supplement, stool softener, or mild laxative over-the-counter.

After having a baby, it natural to bleed when you poop

In poop, toilet bowl, or tissue, it is normal to find drops or streaks of blood during the first few days after childbirth. After you visit the washroom, you can also find it in your panty.

The circumstances that cause it (haemorrhoids or anal fissures) usually resolve on their own, rectal bleeding after pregnancy is typically not a serious problem.

In some cases, your healthcare provider can assess the seriousness of the condition by checking your signs and symptoms if they do not resolve them. A minor surgical procedure can be prescribed in extreme cases.

References;

Postpartum rectal bleeding
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Jennifer Aigbini
I am a language enthusiast, studying Linguistics at the University of Benin, in Nigeria.
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