Pregnant women often face the problem of decreased intestinal motility and constipation. Difficulties with bowel movements are associated with an increase in the level of the hormone progesterone. It helps to increase the protective reaction of the body for bearing the fetus but provokes the retention of feces.
“Consult with local doctor about enema solution”
The formation of constipation is typically due to women being unable to lead an active lifestyle, especially in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. The child grows, the uterus presses on the intestines, interfering with regular emptying. The state of the intestinal micro flora also changes as the number of lactobacilli decreases. This becomes one of the reasons for the slowdown in metabolism.
Start worrying about constipation if bowel cleansing occurs less than three times a week. Frequent stool retention provokes physical and emotional discomfort. The accumulated stool becomes hard, dry, and can injure the rectum. Enemas help pregnant women with constipation.
What is Enema
An enema is a medical procedure that involves the introduction of liquid (1.5-2 liters) into the intestine through the anus. As a liquid, ordinary water, glycerin mixtures, solutions with the addition of a decoction of medicinal herbs are used. Cleansing enemas are used to wash the colon to get rid of accumulated feces.
Enema Pregnancy Safety and Risks
The use of an enema to soften and move the stool significantly improves the condition of pregnant women suffering from constipation. It is necessary to approach this method of stool relief responsibly. Use an enema only after the recommendation of a gynecologist. Doctors allow an enema if gentle methods of dealing with constipation do not help.
An enema can be dangerous for a pregnant woman as it can provoke uterine contractions. The enema has the least threat in the early stages of pregnancy (the first three months). It is dangerous to carry out the procedure if there is a threat of miscarriage: a spot is detected, “pulling” pains in the lower abdomen are felt.
In late pregnancy, doctors allow the use of an enema in extreme cases, when constipation causes severe discomfort, defecation is accompanied by unpleasant sensations, after going to the toilet there is a feeling of incompleteness. In such cases, it is most often recommended to use micro clysters. If they are ineffective, you can increase the volume of liquid to one liter.
The use of an enema rarely causes damage to health, provided it is used moderately and the fluid is properly administered. It is dangerous to do daily enemas to cleanse the intestines. This can be addictive, wash out beneficial micro flora, and lower immunity.
3 Types of Pregnancy Enemas
An enema can be used as a last resort for prolonged constipation and difficulty with bowel movements in pregnant women. Do not use this method to improve stool more than 1-2 times a week. Such a simple procedure can be harmful if done incorrectly. Pregnant women should seek the help of medical personnel.
Choose the right temperature for the injected fluid. Low-temperature water is absorbed in the intestines. For a mild effect, it is worth doing an enema that has a human body temperature or a few degrees higher. In no case should you use a liquid above 42 degrees Celsius: it can cause burns to internal tissues. Several types of enemas are used to thin the stool.
Vegetable oil or petroleum jelly is added to warm water. No more than three tablespoons per 100 ml of water. Fatty substances envelop the walls of the intestine, preventing the formation of injuries due to dense feces.
The optimal volume of water for pregnant women is 50-100 ml. The recommended water temperature is 38 degrees Celsius. An oil enema does not give an immediate effect, you must wait up to 8 hours to feel its effect.
It helps to provoke intestinal receptors for self-cleansing. Make an enema based on the saline solution. Instead of ordinary salt, magnesia, bitter salt, etc. are used. Such a solution stimulates peristalsis, washes out hardened feces. The recommended water temperature is 37-38 degrees Celsius. The effect of a hypertonic enema is noticeable 20-30 minutes after the procedure.
It is made using Esmarch’s mug (a vessel equipped with a rubber tube with a tip). As a liquid, clean water with a temperature of up to 38 degrees Celsius must be used. Water is introduced gradually through the anus. The patient should lie on his side with bent legs. For the best effect, you need to hold the water for 5-10 minutes (you can lie on your back).
Benefits of Enemas During Pregnancy
An enema for constipation in pregnant women is put as an exceptional method of improving bowel function. Stagnation of feces can cause poisoning of the body. Enema helps to get rid of harmful micro flora and toxins. Pregnant women feel significant relief after the procedure and normal bowel movements.
Possibility to significantly reduce gas formation in the intestines, improve its work. For cleansing with an enema to bring a positive effect, it is necessary to use a small amount of liquid (up to 500 ml), choose a comfortable water temperature. It should be introduced gradually and kept in the body for a few minutes.
4 Known Problems Associated with Enema
The body of a pregnant woman undergoes significant changes and heavy loads. If earlier the body worked like a clock, now failures are occurring everywhere. Violation of the work of one organ contributes to problems with another. Difficulties with defecation cause the strongest discomfort. It is not uncommon for women to resort to using enemas to cleanse their bowels. This method is effective but has several risks:
Definitely one of the main disadvantages of enemas is getting to like it. If the procedure is carried out too often, the intestines will cease to cope with their main function on their own. In such cases, without mechanical action or the use of drugs, it will become very difficult to go to the toilet.
Inducing uterine contractions
Another danger of using an enema for pregnant women in the second and third trimester is associated with the risk of premature birth. Irritation of the rectum can provoke contractions. Doctors advise doing an enema at home after 20 weeks of pregnancy with extreme caution, and after 36 weeks of pregnancy, the procedure is prohibited.
Aggravation of the development of injuries
It is forbidden to use an enema if a woman has neoplasms in the large intestine, micro trauma, anal fissures, bowel movements are accompanied by spotting. With an increase in body temperature, it is also not recommended to introduce liquid into the body. Although enema has a thermoregulatory effect, it is impossible to risk the health of a woman in this position.
It has been proven that an enema cannot be used if a woman has had miscarriages before or if uterine hyper tonicity is established. Frequent stomach upsets also become contraindications to the procedure, since additional washing out of beneficial micro flora further complicates the work of the intestines. With inflammation of the hemorrhoids, the use of an enema is prohibited.
Alternatives and Methods to Enemas
Many doctors agree that it is possible to regulate the activity of the intestines with the help of a properly balanced diet. It is worth adding to the menu products that have a laxative effect: cereals, whole grain bread, bran, dried fruits, sour-milk products.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are rich in fiber and have a positive effect on the digestive system. The stomach of pregnant women often cannot cope with the digestion of fibers, which leads to the formation of gas and constipation. Gynecologists recommend replacing fresh vegetables with baked or boiled ones.
For constipation in pregnant women, introduce dried fruits into the menu. The most useful seems to be dried apricots and it has a mild laxative effect. It is important to eat small portions: throughout the day, take food in 5-6 meals.
Often pregnant women drink little water to reduce the formation of edema. But in the fight against constipation, the establishment of a proper drinking regimen plays a role. During the day you need to drink clean water. Instead of tea, it is worth introducing a rosehip decoction into the menu.
If constipation occurs in pregnant women, you can use laxative syrups, herbal formulations, put rectal suppositories. Use any intervention methods after examination and consultation with a gynecologist who observes pregnancy.