Constipation during pregnancy.... 8

Constipation during pregnancy.... 8


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Difficulty with the muscles involved in elimination

Problems with the pelvic muscles involved in having a bowel movement may cause chronic constipation. These problems may include:
  • Inability to relax the pelvic muscles to allow for a bowel movement (anismus)
  • Pelvic muscles don't coordinate relaxation and contraction correctly (dyssynergia)
  • Weakened pelvic muscles

Conditions that affect hormones in the body

Hormones help balance fluids in your body. Diseases and conditions that upset the balance of hormones may lead to constipation, including:
  • Diabetes
  • Overactive parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism)
  • Pregnancy
  • Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
Factors that may increase your risk of chronic constipation include:
  • Being an older adult
  • Being a woman
  • Being dehydrated
  • Eating a diet that's low in fiber
  • Getting little or no physical activity
  • Taking certain medications, including sedatives, narcotics, some antidepressants or medications to lower blood pressure
  • Having a mental health condition such as depression or an eating disorder
Complications of chronic constipation include:
  • Swollen veins in your anus (hemorrhoids). Straining to have a bowel movement may cause swelling in the veins in and around your anus.
  • Torn skin in your anus (anal fissure). A large or hard stool can cause tiny tears in the anus.
  • Stool that can't be expelled (fecal impaction). Chronic constipation may cause an accumulation of hardened stool that gets stuck in your intestines.
  • Intestine that protrudes from the anus (rectal prolapse). Straining to have a bowel movement can cause a small amount of the rectum to stretch and protrude from the anus.

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