Hemorrhoids are varicose veins – blood vessels that have become unusually swollen – that show up in the rectal area. Hemorrhoids typically range from the size of a raisin to the size of a grape. They can be merely itchy or downright painful, and sometimes they can even cause rectal bleeding, especially during a bowel movement. Sometimes the enlarged veins protrude through the anus. When this happens, you'll feel a soft, swollen mass.
Hemorrhoids are relatively common during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Some women get them for the first time while they're pregnant – and if you had them before you conceived, you're likely to get them again. Luckily, they often go away on their own (or with the help of some simple measures mentioned below) soon after you give birth.
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