An anal fissure is a small tear in the skin around the opening of the anus. And sometimes because of the strain of pushing when giving birth, women can suffer from anal fissures postpartum. They can also develop anal fissures during the actual pregnancy because of being constipated. Although it is not a very nice condition, anal fissures treatments
are usually relatively simple.
Most anal fissures are at the rear of the anal opening
This means in line with the cleft of the buttocks. Feces are stored temporarily in the rectum and leave the body via the anus. Although the discomfort and pain of anal fissures can be considerable, they are not in the least bit dangerous. The pain after having a bowel movement is often described as like passing “razor blades” and this can last up to 15 minutes and sometimes even longer. You might well see some bright red blood on the toilet paper.
The main cause of anal fissures in pregnant women is constipation
There are two rings of muscle which control the opening of anus and both these muscles need to relax if a stool is to pass through comfortably. While the external anal muscle tenses and relaxes freely, the internal anal muscle does not and it is the pain of the anal fissure which may cause the internal muscle to go into spasm, thus raising the pressure within the anus. This pressure makes it harder to pass a stool resulting in worse constipation and so a vicious cycle occurs.
To stop this vicious cycle happening, follow these tips
• Eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals such as brown rice and brown pasta as this provides fiber in your diet. You can even add bran or other fiber supplements to your diet.
• Drink plenty of water every day as some of this liquid will pass out into the gut and help to soften the feces. Your urine should be no darker than a very pale yellow.
• If you are still constipated, add some dried fruit to your diet such as sultanas or prunes. Spoonfuls of organic coconut oil are another natural way to loosen stools.
• Always go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need as putting off this action may cause bigger and harder feces to form and these would be more difficult to pass later.
• Use baby wipes instead of toilet paper after you have had a bowel movement and then wash the anus carefully with water only and dry gently.
• Warm and frequent soaking baths are soothing and help the anus to relax or you can just sit in a large bowl of warm water.
• After your bath, apply some petroleum jelly to the anus.
• Avoid lifting heavy objects as this will put strain on your rectal area.
• If you have to pick up a young child, do a Kegel exercise, hold it and then lift. Always lift using your legs and not your back and buttocks.
• Keep up these good habits even after your anal fissures have healed because once you have suffered from one anal fissure, you have a higher than average chance of developing more in the future.
Different types of anal fissures
New anal fissures are called acute anal fissures
but those that have not healed even after 6 weeks have elapsed are called chronic anal fissures.
If your anal fissures don’t heal, go and see your medical practitioner to eliminate other possible problems. It is always best to veer on the safe side.
How to do a Kegel exercise
In case you don’t know what they are – a kegel exercise is the simple tightening of your pelvic floor muscles. Pretend you are trying to stop a stream of urine. Try to do these kegels frequently as they are useful for strengthening the muscles in your pelvic floor and vaginal area particularly when you are pregnant or have given birth.
Although anal fissures caused by the actual delivery of a new born baby
are not as a result of constipation, much of the same advice is also relevant because you still want to heal the anal fissures, relax the anus area and avoid any possible constipation which would of course aggravate the condition.
Having this problem can take some perseverance. If you are pregnant but anal fissure–free, make sure you stay that way by not getting constipated.