Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal. This common problem can be painful, but it’s usually not serious. Veins can swell inside the anal canal to form internal hemorrhoids. Or they can swell near the opening of the anus to form external hemorrhoids. You can have both types at the same time.

The symptoms and treatment depend on which type you have.

Quick Facts


The most common symptoms of both internal and external hemorrhoids include:

  • Bleeding during bowel movements
  • Rectal pain

Common Causes:

  • Too much pressure on the veins in the pelvic and rectal area
  • Straining during a bowel movement - Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Pregnancy


  • Medical history review and review of symptoms
  • Physical examination
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy

Common Treatment:

  • Warm tub or sitz bath several times a day in plain, warm water
  • Application of a hemorroidal cream or suppository
  • Increasing fiber and fluids in the diet
  • Stool softener
  • Surgery

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