The effect of Coconut oil ointment on constipation symptoms in pregnant women with hemorrhoids: A randomized clinical trial

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.Sc. of Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.

2 Ph.D. in Reproductive Health, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Assistant Professor, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical

3 Instructor, Department of Nursing, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Instructor, Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical

4 Medicinal Plants Pharmacology Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran. Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran.


Introduction: Constipation is one of the most common digestive problems in pregnant women which is commonly associated with hemorrhoids. Patients' non-compliance with lifestyle modification recommendations leads to failure of treatment with this method. Although therapeutic properties of coconut oil on constipation are discussed, but its scientific documentation has not been reported; therefore, this study was performed with aim to determine the effect of coconut oil ointment on the symptoms of constipation in pregnant women with hemorrhoids.
Methods: This randomized clinical trial study was performed on 60 pregnant women who referred to Mashhad Comprehensive Health Service Centers in 2018-2019. Eligible individuals were divided into two groups. The control group received only lifestyle modification recommendations, while the intervention group in addition to these recommendations used an applicator of coconut oil ointment twice a day for two weeks. The improvement of constipation symptoms including need for straining during defecation, hard stools and defecation less than 2 to 3 times a week was assessed using the Constipation Questionnaire in Pregnancy. Data were analyzed using SPSS software (version 16) and Chi-square, Fisher exact and Cochran tests. P< 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The frequency of need for straining during defecation on the fourteenth day after the intervention in pregnant women in the coconut oil ointment group was significantly lower than the control group (p <0.05). In the intragroup comparison, it was found that in the group of coconut oil ointment, the difference in the need for straining during defecation and hard stools according to the day of measurement was significantly different (P <0.001), while in the control group, the difference in the need for straining during defecation and hard stools according to the day of measurement was not significant (p <0.05). In the intragroup comparison, defecation less than 2 to 3 times a week, although clinically was associated with a decrease in the coconut oil ointment group, but this decrease was not statistically significant (p=0.050).
Conclusion: Coconut oil ointment is effective in improving the symptoms of constipation in pregnant women with hemorrhoids, so its use is recommended in these people.


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