There’s no doubt about it – hemorrhoids can be an uncomfortable, if not embarrassing ailment. Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the anus and lower rectum that can cause pain, itching, bleeding and, due to their sensitive location, blushing. But hemorrhoids are much more common than some may think. According to the Mayo Clinic, about half of the population has experienced hemorrhoids by the age of 50, and the likelihood of developing hemorrhoids increases with age.
Hemorrhoids affect both men and women and are especially present in pregnant women, triggered by the pressure of the fetus on the abdomen, as well as hormonal changes. Excessive straining during bowel movements, chronic diarrhea or constipation, obesity and anal intercourse can also cause hemorrhoids. Fortunately, most cases of hemorrhoids will disappear on their own within a few days, and over-the-counter medications and creams can provide temporary relief. In some cases, though, prescription medication and/or surgery may be needed.
If you think you might have hemorrhoids, don’t let embarrassment keep you from discussing it with a physician. Click here to find a center near you that specializes in treating hemorrhoids.