Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are soft fleshy lumps just inside the back passage (anus). They bleed easily, usually causing fresh bright-red bleeding when a motion is passed. They do not usually cause pain but can cause itching.
When large, they can pass through the anus (prolapsed pile), feeling like a lump when you clean yourself.
Haemorrhoids develop gradually, often over a long period of time. They are associated with constipation, often run in families and can be made worse by pregnancy.
Haemorrhoids can often be successfully treated by simple measures such as eating more fibre and drinking more fluid. If these simple measures are unsuccessful, the haemorrhoids can usually be treated successfully in a clinic. Local treatments include ‘banding’ or ‘injecting’ the haemorrhoids.
To read about surgical removal of haemorrhoids visit our treatment page.