At WE GO THERE, we really go there; anything below the belt, and we’ve got you covered. Although it might not be the first thing that pops to mind, your butt is in fact… below the belt. That’s why today we are talking about the thoroughly unsexy, but totally common butt issue: hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are very common in people of both genders over the age of 50. They also frequently occur during pregnancy, and can leave many pregnant women asking themselves… why is my butt bleeding?
Okay but… what are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are enlarged and swollen blood vessels located in the lower part of the rectum and the anus. They can occur internally or externally of the rectum, and are usually caused by straining during bowel movements, prolonged sitting, anal intercourse, or diseases like Crohns/Colitis. In pregnancy, they are caused by hormonal changes and increased intra-abdominal pressure.
How do you know if you have them?
The main symptoms of hemorrhoids are generally painless bleeding, itching and irritation in the area, discomfort or pain in/near the anus, and leaking feces. The symptoms are the same whether experienced during pregnancy or at another time in life.
There can be some differences in symptoms experienced depending on location. If the hemorrhoid is external, it’s more likely to be painful because more surface area is exposed. Internal hemorrhoids tend to be less painful, but bleeding when passing stool is more likely to occur.
So, what should you do?
First and foremost, visit your doctor. Anal bleeding is never normal, but it also could have a few other causes, so you’ll want to make sure you get yourself checked out. If you’ve had hemorrhoids before and know the drill, there are a few at home solutions you can try.
Trying to decrease the stress on your bowel by softening your stool can really help alleviate pain. Talking to a pharmacist about stool softeners, changing your diet, and drinking enough water are things you can do to try and make that poop a little easier to push out. Taking a warm (not hot!) bath can also help decrease symptoms as well as ointments and creams that provide pain relief.
The bottom line:
If your butt is bleeding, you have every right to be concerned. Visit your doctor to understand if you have hemorrhoids, and take comfort in knowing that hemorrhoids are common and treatable.
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