Hemorrhoids | Overview

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What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your rectum or anus. The type of hemorrhoid you have depends on where it occurs.

  • Internal hemorrhoids involve the veins inside your rectum. Internal hemorrhoids usually don't hurt but they may bleed painlessly.
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoids may stretch down until they bulge outside your anus. A prolapsed hemorrhoid may go back inside your rectum on its own, or you can gently push it back inside.
  • External hemorrhoids involve the veins outside the anus. They can be itchy or painful and can sometimes crack and bleed.

If you have a hemorrhoid, you may feel a tender lump on the edge of your anus. You may also see blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet after a bowel movement.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 11/96

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