Although embarrassing to talk about, hemorrhoids are extremely common. It is estimated that three out of four people will develop a hemorrhoid sometime in their life. Hemorrhoids form when veins in the lower rectum and anus become swollen. This generally happens when pressure is put on this area, such as straining during bowel movements or with pregnancy. Hemorrhoids can occur both inside and outside the body. Some people can have hemorrhoids with no symptoms. Simple treatments that can be implemented at home, along with lifestyle changes, can be effective in relieving the discomfort of hemorrhoids and preventing them from returning.
There are three main types of hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids form inside the rectum. They are typically painless and usually can’t be seen or felt. Occasionally, these types of hemorrhoids will bleed due to straining or irritation during bowel movements. Sometimes, an internal hemorrhoid can be pushed through the anal opening with straining during a bowel movement. This is called a prolapsed hemorrhoid and can be painful. External hemorrhoids are found around the opening of the anus. This type can cause itching and bleeding. Thrombosed hemorrhoids form when blood pools in an external hemorrhoid. When the blood clots, it can result in severe pain and swelling.