In short, they are veins in the anal canal that become swollen.
To help with controlling bowel movements, the tissue inside the anus fills with blood. Often if there’s straining involved to move stool, the increase in pressure may cause the veins in the tissue to become swollen and to stretch.
When the veins swell on the inside of the anal canal, the result is internal. When the veins swell on the outer opening of the anus, they’re called, external. It’s possible to have both internal and external at once.
Once they occur, it’s also possible that they may become bleeding.
What are bleeding Hemorrhoids?
Bleeding is actually a common occurrence. For signs and symptoms, please see our symptoms section.
While some clear up on their own, there are other types that may become more serious. While it’s rare, some may even need emergency surgery. These are called strangulated hemorrhoids.
Bleeding internal ones should be evaluated by a physician. Rectal bleeding can be a sign of very serious conditions so it’s important to be sure what the source of the bleeding is.
Also, once diagnosed, it’s sometimes necessary to involve medical intervention to stop the bleeding. There are several types of medical bleeding treatment and your doctor will help you decide which one is best for your situation.
Usually, if you’re under the age of 50 and the bleeding is minimal and only occurs during bowel movements (bright red blood spotting on toilet paper) it’s okay to wait a week and attempt some home treatments before seeing your doctor. Our treatment section will give you some of the more common at home treatments.
Again, only do this if you’re fairly positive the blood is being released.
If you’ve attempted some of the at-home bleeding treatment options available and even if you are sure of the source of bleeding, if a week has passed and the bleeding has not subsided, please check with your physician. It may be necessary to have it checked and graded and to get medical advice so that you can begin recommended treatment.
Once the hemorrhoids have been repaired, and since lifestyle and some habits may have an effect on them, it’s important to try to make the changes that may help your prevent further problems. For advice on how to prevent them, check out our other articles on this website.