What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus. Sometimes, the walls of these blood vessels stretch so thin that the veins bulge and get irritated, especially when you poop. Hemorrhoids are also called piles.
Hemorrhoids are one of the most common causes of rectal bleeding. They often go away on their own. Treatments can also help.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids are so far inside your rectum that you can't usually see or feel them. They don't generally hurt because you have few pain-sensing nerves there. Symptoms of internal hemorrhoids include:
- Blood on your poop, on toilet paper after you wipe, or in the toilet bowl
- Tissue that bulges outside your anal opening (prolapse). This may hurt, often when you poop. You might be able to see prolapsed hemorrhoids as moist bumps that are pinker than the surrounding area. These usually go back inside on their own. Even if they don't, they can often be gently pushed back into place.
External hemorrhoids are under the skin around your anus, where there are many more pain-sensing nerves. Symptoms of external hemorrhoids include:
A blood clot can turn an external hemorrhoid purple or blue. This is called a thrombosis or a thrombosed hemorrhoid. You may notice symptoms like:
- Severe pain
When to call your doctor
Hemorrhoids are rarely dangerous. If the symptoms don’t go away in a week or if you have bleeding, see your doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious condition.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.