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Piles (haemorrhoids)

Piles (haemorrhoids) are lumps inside and around your bottom (anus).

Symptoms of piles include bright red blood after you poo, an itchy anus, and slimy mucus coming from your bottom.

Piles usually get better on their own. You can ease discomfort by avoiding constipation. You may need hospital treatment if your piles are severe.

It's not clear what causes piles. You're more likely to get them if you're regularly constipated, pregnant or often push too hard when pooing.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of piles include bright red blood after you poo, an itchy anus, and slimy mucus coming from your bottom.

Check if it's piles

Symptoms of piles include:

Read more on the NHS website.

Piles usually get better on their own. You can ease discomfort by avoiding constipation. You may need hospital treatment if your piles are severe.

Self-care


Do

  • drink lots of fluid and eat plenty of fibre to keep your poo soft
  • wipe your bottom with damp toilet paper
  • take paracetamol if piles hurt
  • take a warm bath to ease itching and pain
  • use an ice pack wrapped in a towel to ease discomfort
  • gently push a pile back inside
  • keep your bottom clean and dry
  • exercise regularly
  • cut down on alcohol and caffeine (like tea, coffee and cola) to avoid constipation

Don't

  • do not wipe your bottom too hard after you poo
  • do not ignore the urge to poo
  • do not push too hard when pooing
  • do not take painkillers that contain codeine, as they cause constipation
  • do not take ibuprofen if your piles are bleeding
  • do not spend more time than you need to on the toilet

Medical treatments

If there's no improvement to your piles after home treatments, you may need hospital treatment.

Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you. Treatment does not always prevent piles coming back.

Treatment without surgery

Common hospital treatments include:

  • rubber band ligation: a band is placed around your piles to make them drop off
  • sclerotherapy: a liquid is injected into your piles to make them shrink
  • electrotherapy: a gentle electric current is applied to your piles to make them shrink
  • infrared coagulation: an infrared light is used to cut the blood supply to your piles to make them shrink

You'll be awake for this type of treatment, but the area will be numbed.

You should be able to go home on the same day.

If these treatments do not work, you may need surgery to remove your piles.

Surgery

Surgical treatments include:

  • haemorrhoidectomy: your piles are cut out
  • stapled haemorrhoidopexy: your piles are stapled back inside your anus
  • haemorrhoidal artery ligation: stitches are used to cut the blood supply to your piles to make them shrink

You'll usually need to be asleep for this type of treatment and may need to stay in hospital for more than 1 day.

Read more on the NHS website.

It's not clear what causes piles. You're more likely to get them if you're regularly constipated, pregnant or often push too hard when pooing.

Read more on the NHS website.