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    Pain in Anus During Pregnancy: Your Guide to Causes and Cures

    Symptoms & Illnesses

    Pain in Anus During Pregnancy: Your Guide to Causes and Cures

    Updated on 8 April 2024

    Pregnancy is known for its unpleasant symptoms, from morning sickness to urinary incontinence. You can expect every month to bring in a new set of symptoms that you never anticipated before. Among these unanticipated symptoms are sharp pains in anus during pregnancy, especially felt during the second and third trimesters. If you too have been experiencing pain in anus during pregnancy, then this article is for you.

    In this article, we will understand the symptoms this condition can bring along, its common causes, treatment and preventive measures.

    What is proctalgia?

    Proctalgia is a medical term for sharp, stabbing pains in the anus. The anus is the passageway of the GI tract, which starts from the large intestine and opens at the end of the rectum. It is surrounded by sphincter muscles which tend to tighten and relax with the passage of metabolic waste. Additionally, it also comprises the tailbone and several nerves in the surrounding area.

    Pregnant women may have a few run-ins with proctalgia, especially during the third trimester. Let us now understand the common causes of pregnancy pain in anus.

    What can cause a sharp pain in anus during pregnancy?

    A woman’s body goes through several changes during the course of pregnancy. Some of these changes, among other reasons, can contribute to proctalgia. These include:

    1. Hormonal changes

    Pregnancy is characterized a slew of hormonal changes which end up affecting other body functions. Certain hormonal changes during pregnancy can slow down the digestive system, causing occasional episodes of constipation. As a result, straining while passing stool can cause discomfort and pain in the anus during pregnancy.

    2. Hemorrhoids

    Hemorrhoids is a common condition faced by women during pregnancy. It causes veins in the anal and rectal region to swell. As a result, hemorrhoids can lead to anal pain along with burning and itching sensations.

    3. Anal fissures

    Prolonged constipation during pregnancy can cause sharp pain during and after bowel movements. This can even lead to the tearing of skin in the anus, known as anal fissures.

    4. Anal spasms

    Also known as proctalgia fugax, anal spasms are a condition wherein women may experience sharp pains in anus during pregnancy. This happens due to muscle contractions.

    5. Enlargement of uterus

    The uterus tends to enlarge through the nine months of pregnancy, putting pressure on surrounding organs, including the anus. During the third trimester when the uterus stretches to its maximum capacity, it exerts pressure on the anal nerves and causes pain and discomfort.

    6. Contractions

    During the third trimester of the pregnancy, contractions become a recurring occurrence. Many women experience Braxton Hicks (false contractions) from time to time. This can also contribute to anus pain during pregnancy third trimester.

    7. Sedentary lifestyle

    Excessive sitting or lying down, whether it was before pregnancy or during, can cause the tailbone, anal muscles and surrounding organs to be stiff and inactive. Over time, this can cause anal pain and even damage to the affected body parts.

    You may also like: Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy: Symptoms & Treatment

    What are some symptoms of pain in anus during pregnancy?

    Besides experiencing anal pain, pregnant women can expect the following symptoms:

    • Discomfort in the anal or rectal region

    • Swelling and redness

    • Pain while walking

    • Itching in the anal area

    • Fecal incontinence

    • Prolonged episodes of constipation

    • Sharp pain in the anus while passing stool

    • Bleeding or discolored discharge

    • Formation or lump in the anal area

    You may also like: Pain in Groin During Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

    How to relieve sharp pains in anus during pregnancy?

    Although the treatment will depend on the underlying cause, here are some common ways to relieve pregnancy pain in anus:

    • Take a warm or Sitz bath to soothe discomfort and pain. You can also add Epsom salt to the water for extra relief.

    • Use ice packs or ice wrapped in a towel and press it against the anal region. Keep it for 20 minutes and repeat the procedure thrice to four times daily.

    • Use over-the-counter ointments or creams to reduce pain or swelling.

    • Increase your fibre and fluid intake to prevent constipation and facilitate easy passing of stool.

    • Medicines like ibuprofen or acetaminophen may temporarily reduce the pain but only consume them after consulting your gynecologist.

    • If the pain persists and worsens, consult your gynecologist for the correct diagnosis and treatment.

    You may also like: How to Manage and Alleviate Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy?

    How to prevent pain in anus during pregnancy?

    While it may not always be possible to prevent anus pain in pregnancy, there are several ways to reduce its chances. These include:

    1. Drink plenty of water

    It is recommended to consume 12-15 glasses of water daily to prevent constipation and make it easier to pass stools.

    2. Avoid prolonged standing or sitting

    Avoiding excessive sitting and standing can help reduce the pressure on the anal region. Besides, it will reduce the risk of hemorrhoids.

    3. Eat a high-fibre diet

    Consume plenty of fibre-rich foods such as apples, berries, broccoli, spinach, lentils, oats, almonds etc. to prevent constipation.

    4. Stay active

    Walking everyday for 30 to 50 minutes will reduce the pressure on nerves and muscles in the anal and lower spine region, thereby preventing anus pain during pregnancy.

    5. Avoid wearing tight undergarments

    It is recommended to wear proper fitting, cotton undergarments to prevent pressure on the anus during pregnancy. Opting for any other material may cause sweating and irritation in the anal region.

    6. Do not strain during bowel movements

    Straining can increase the risk of hemorrhoids and anal fissures.

    7. Avoid raw and uncooked food

    Unfiltered water and junk food may contain bacteria that can cause diarrhea, so make sure to eat only cooked food and drink clean water.

    You may also like: Top 10 Tips for The Third Trimester of Your Pregnancy

    When to consult a doctor?

    There can be multiple reasons for anal pain during pregnancy. Some may be serious, while others may be manageable with home remedies. However, if the pain becomes unbearable and is accompanied by symptoms like fever, blood in stool, severe constipation or dehydration, it must be brought to the doctor’s notice immediately.

    Final Thoughts

    We know sharp pains in anus during pregnancy weren’t exactly how you imagined being greeted by your baby. But don’t worry, several home remedies and preventive measures can help you manage pain in anus during pregnancy. If you don’t find any relief, then don’t hesitate to consult your doctor for timely medical intervention.


    1. Boughton RS, Brophy C, Corbett G, Murphy S, Clifford J, Hanly A, Fitzpatrick M, O'Brien L. (2024). Haemorrhoids and Anal Fissures in Pregnancy: Predictive Factors and Effective Treatments. Cureus.

    2. Poskus T, Sabonyte-Balsaitiene Z, Jakubauskiene L, Jakubauskas M, Stundiene I, Barkauskaite G, Smigelskaite M, Jasiunas E, Ramasauskaite D, Strupas K, Drasutiene G. (2022). Preventing hemorrhoids during pregnancy: a multicenter, randomized clinical trial. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth.

    3. Unadkat SN, Leff DR, Teoh TG, Rai R, Darzi AW, Ziprin P. (2010). Anorectal symptoms during pregnancy: how important is trimester? Int J Colorectal Dis.

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    Written by

    Parul Sachdeva

    A globetrotter and a blogger by passion, Parul loves writing content. She has done M.Phil. in Journalism and Mass Communication and worked for more than 25 clients across Globe with a 100% job success rate. She has been associated with websites pertaining to parenting, travel, food, health & fitness and has also created SEO rich content for a variety of topics.

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