Objective: To identify the incidence and risk factors of haemorrhoids and fissures during pregnancy and after childbirth.
Design: Prospective observational cohort study.
Setting: University hospital and outpatient clinics in Lithuania.
Population: A total of 280 pregnant women followed up until 1 month after delivery.
Methods: Women were examined four times through pregnancy and after delivery; those that developed peri-anal diseases were compared with those that did not.
Main outcome measures: Incidence, time and risk factors of haemorrhoids and fissures.
Results: In all, 123 (43.9%) women developed peri-anal disease: 1.6% in the first trimester, 61% during the third trimester, 34.1% after delivery and 3.3% 1 month after delivery; 114 (40.7%) women were diagnosed with haemorrhoids, seven (2.5%) with haemorrhoids and anal fissure and two (0.71%) with anal fissure. Ninety-nine (80.5%) women had vaginal delivery and 24 (19.5%) women had undergone caesarean section. Multivariate analysis identified personal history of peri-anal diseases (odds ratio [OR] 11.93; 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 2.18-65.30), constipation (OR 18.98; 95% CI 7.13-50.54), straining during delivery for more than 20 minutes (OR 29.75; 95% CI 4.00-221.23) and birthweight of newborn>3800 g (OR 17.99; 95% CI 3.29-98.49) as significant predictors of haemorrhoids and anal fissures during pregnancy and perinatal period.
Conclusions: Haemorrhoids and fissures are common during the last trimester of pregnancy and 1 month after delivery, with constipation, personal history of haemorrhoids or fissures, birthweight of newborn>3800 g, straining during delivery for more than 20 minutes being independently associated risk factors.
Keywords: Anal fissure; haemorrhoids; pregnancy; prospective study; risk.
© 2014 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.