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Pregnancy 2023

Blood in stool during pregnancy: what it can be and what to do

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Blood in stool during pregnancy: what it can be and what to do
Blood in stool during pregnancy: what it can be and what to do

The presence of blood in the stool during pregnancy can be caused by situations such as hemorrhoids, which are very common at this stage, anal fissure due to dryness of the stool, but it can also indicate a more serious situation, such as a gastric ulcer or intestinal polyp, for example.

If the woman notices the presence of blood in her stools, she should go to the doctor for a stool test to confirm its presence, discover the cause and start the appropriate treatment.

Main causes

Some common causes of bloody stools at this stage are:

1. Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy due to increased weight in the abdominal region and can be aggravated by constipation that also commonly develops during pregnancy.In the presence of hemorrhoids, the main indicative sign is the presence of bright red blood in the stool or on the toilet paper after wiping, in addition to anal pain when standing or having a bowel movement. In the case of external hemorrhoids, a small soft ball may be felt around the anus.

What to do: It is recommended to observe if the symptoms persist for more than 3 days and, if so, contact the doctor so that it can be It is recommended to perform a stool examination and evaluation of the anal region to check for external hemorrhoids. See how hemorrhoids are treated during pregnancy.

2. Anal fissure

Anal fissure is also common, because due to the decrease in intestinal transit, the feces become more dry, which forces the woman to strain when evacuating, leading to the appearance of fissures that bleed whenever faeces pass through the site.

In this way, it is possible to identify the fissure when the presence of bright red blood is observed in the stool, on the toilet paper after wiping, in addition to anal pain when standing up or having a bowel movement.

What to do: In this case, the best thing to do is to make the stools softer by increasing fiber consumption and water intake, in addition to exercise, as this can also help improve intestinal transit. It is also recommended to avoid straining when evacuating and clean the anus with moist tissues or soap and water, avoiding toilet paper.

3. Intestinal polyp

Polyps are small stalks that develop in the intestine. They are usually discovered before a woman becomes pregnant but when they are not removed, they can cause bleeding when dry stools pass in the place where they are.

What to do: In these cases, it is important to consult the gastroenterologist and obstetrician to assess the need and risk of colonoscopy, which is a procedure used for diagnosis and treatment for intestinal polyps, however it is contraindicated during pregnancy.Thus, the doctor should evaluate the woman and indicate the most appropriate therapeutic option. Understand how intestinal polyps are treated.

4. Gastric ulcer

Gastric ulcer can get worse in pregnancy when the woman is very irritated or has frequent vomiting. In this case the blood in the stool may be almost imperceptible because it is partially digested. So the characteristics include sticky, dark and very smelly stools.

What to do: It is recommended to go to the doctor so that tests are requested that help in the diagnosis of the ulcer and/or to indicate the treatment, which usually involves the use of antacids, strategies to keep calm, and pasty and easily digestible food.

Although it seems scary to find blood in the stool, this is a common sign in pregnancy due to the changes that happen in the woman's body and are usually due to constipation or the presence of hemorrhoids, which can arise during pregnancy.

When to go to the doctor

It is recommended to seek medical help if you notice the presence of:

  • Large amount of blood in stool;
  • If you have a fever, even if it is low;
  • If you have bloody diarrhea;
  • If you are or have been sick in the last few days;
  • If there is anal bleeding even without having a bowel movement.

The doctor may request tests to identify what is happening and then indicate the most suitable treatment for each need.

Learn how to collect stool correctly to proceed with the exam:

If the woman prefers, she can contact her obstetrician, indicating her signs and symptoms, because as he is already following the pregnancy she will be able to understand more easily what is happening.

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