“It is distressing if you find blood in your stool or on the toilet paper after wiping. You might be concerned if you are pregnant. Your body is doing important work. You don’t want to find out that you’re having a serious medical issue, and you don’t want to find out that you’re having a problem.”

Most instances of bloody stool during pregnancy are not a sign of a medical emergency. Most of the bloody stool in pregnant women is due to common pregnancy ailments.

Is it normal to poop blood during pregnancy?

Rectal bleeding during pregnancy is quite common, likely because of how common constipation, hemorrhoids, and anal fissures are during pregnancy.

A 2018 study noted that two-thirds of pregnant people experienced peri-anal disease, which includes anal fissures and hemorrhoids. Incidences were highest in the third trimester and after giving birth.

According to a 2020 review of studies, experiencing blood stool in pregnancy is common. The majority of the time, causes include nonserious conditions such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Rarely, bloody stool in pregnancy is caused by more serious conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease. In especially rare cases, bloody stool may be caused by cancer.

Anal fissures

Anal fissures are small tears in your anus, usually caused by constipation or straining while pooping. Anal fissures can also be caused by frequent diarrhea, STDs, inflammatory bowel disease, HIV, and anal sex. Pregnancy is a frequent cause of anal fissures because pregnant people are more prone to constipation.

Anal fissures usually only last about 6 weeks or so, but more serious anal fissures can become chronic. Symptoms of anal fissures include:

  • Light bleeding after a bowel movement.
  • Blood from anal fissures is usually bright red.
  • Anal pain.
  • There is pain after a bowel movement.


Hemorrhoids occur when the veins around your anus and rectum get inflamed or become swollen. This usually happens because of straining while pooping or because of hard, impacted stool putting pressure on your anus and rectum.

Hemorrhoids are one of the most common pregnancy ailments, affecting between 25 to 35 percent of pregnant individuals. Constipation during pregnancy is one factor that makes hemorrhoids more likely. Additionally, pregnant people are more likely to experience hemorrhoids because of the increase in blood circulation that happens during pregnancy and the increased weight and pressure of the uterus.

Symptoms of hemorrhoids may include:

  • Bright red blood in your stool, on the toilet paper after wiping, or in the toilet bowl after pooping
  • Small, tender lump close to your anus.
  • Itchiness.
  • Sitting causes pain.

Other causes

Although anal fissures and hemorrhoids are the most common causes of bloody stool in pregnancy, other causes can include having a stomach virus or bacterial infection that causes diarrhea. Blood in stool during pregnancy can also be caused by inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease), which can be exacerbated during pregnancy or emerge for the first time.

In rare instances, blood in stool during pregnancy may be caused by a malignancy, such as colorectal cancer. Incidences of this are rare; only about 1 in 1,000 pregnant people receive a diagnosis of cancer.

When to call a doctor

Bloody stool in pregnancy isn’t something to panic about. Still, you should talk with a doctor or midwife anytime you see blood in your stool during pregnancy. The majority of the time, it will be something like anal fissures or hemorrhoids. But occasionally, you might be experiencing something more serious, so it’s important that you discuss your symptoms with them.

Although inflammatory bowel disease is less likely, it can be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and needs to be treated promptly. It’s also important that a healthcare professional rules out serious conditions, such as colorectal cancer.

You may be wondering if you are more likely to experience bloody stool during the first, second, or third trimester. Here is what we know.

  • Anal fissures and hemorrhoids can happen at any time during pregnancy, but they’re more likely to happen as your uterus gets larger or during times when you’re constipated.
  • A 2022 review of studies noted that anal fissures and hemorrhoids were most likely in the third trimester of pregnancy.
  • According to an older 2014 study, of the pregnant people who experienced hemorrhoids, 61 percent experienced them in the third trimester, 1.6 percent experienced them in the first trimester, and 34 percent experienced them after giving birth.

The condition that is most likely to cause bloody stool during pregnancy is sphinx. Anal fissures and hemorrhoids will be less likely once the problem of constipation is solved.

You will want to treat the anal fissures and hemorrhoids as well.

Treatment for constipation

According to an older 2012 study, constipation during pregnancy can be treated by:

If you are taking iron, you can discuss with your doctor or other healthcare professional the option of trying an additional prenatal vitamins, especially if you are taking one with iron.

Don’t forget!

If you are taking any other medications or supplements, make sure to space out taking a fiber supplement. The fiber can block the absorption of the medication.

Before you add a vitamins to your regimen, make sure to talk to your doctor about any possible reactions or lessened effects.

Treatment for anal fissures during pregnancy

Some common ways to treat anal fissures during pregnancy include:

  • Taking a sitz bath or a short, warm bath
  • “Taking a doctor’s or midwife’s approval.”

Treatment for hemorrhoids during pregnancy

Treatments for hemorrhoids during pregnancy are similar to treatments for anal fissures and may include:

If you notice blood after pooping or blood in your poop, it is understandable that you may be alarmed or distressed. You may feel embarrassed and ashamed. It is important that you share these symptoms with a doctor or midwife. You can be sure that a doctor or other healthcare professional will not be surprised by this.

In most cases, an anal fissure or hemorrhoids will be diagnosed and you will be given tips for how to manage them. If a doctor or other healthcare professional believes that other causes are to blame, they may discuss further testing with you.