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Hemorrhoids are when the veins or blood vessels in and around your anus and lower rectum become swollen and irritated. This happens when there is extra pressure on these veins.
Hemorrhoids can be either inside your anus (internal) or under the skin around your anus (external).
Hemorrhoids are very common in both men and women. About half of all people will have hemorrhoids by age 50.
Many women get hemorrhoids during pregnancy and childbirth. The pressure of carrying a baby in your abdomen puts extra stress on the blood vessels in your pelvic area. Straining to push the baby out when giving birth also puts extra pressure on these blood vessels.
You may get hemorrhoids if you:
Hemorrhoids are very common. Most people will have a hemorrhoid at some time in their life.
You are more likely to get hemorrhoids if you:
Each person’s symptoms may vary. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Hemorrhoid symptoms may look like other health problems. Always see your health care provider to be sure.
Having blood in your stool can also be a sign of other digestive disorders, such as colorectal cancer. It’s important to see your health care provider for a complete exam.
To see if you have hemorrhoids, your health care provider may do several tests including:
Your health care provider will create a care plan for you based on:
The main goal of treatment is to reduce your symptoms. This may be done by:
Your health care provider may also suggest that you add more fiber and fluids to your diet to help soften your stools. Having softer stools means you don’t have to strain during bowel movements. This reduces the pressure on your hemorrhoids.
Adding more fiber to your diet means eating more:
Your health care provider may also suggest that you take stool softeners or fiber supplements, such as Metamucil or Citrucel.
In some cases surgery is needed. There are several types of surgeries used to remove or reduce internal and external hemorrhoids. These include:
In rare cases hemorrhoids may cause other problems. These may include:
It’s not always possible to stop hemorrhoids from happening. But you may reduce your risk of getting hemorrhoids if you:
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.