Hemorrhoids are usually caused by increased pressure on the veins in the pelvic and rectal area. As pressure increases, blood pools in veins and causes them to swell. Eventually, the swollen veins stretch the surrounding tissue, and hemorrhoids develop.
Bowel habits that can cause increased pressure and lead to hemorrhoids include:
Hemorrhoids may or may not cause symptoms. Symptoms may include:
Pain and discomfort around the anus.
Moist, pink pads of skin protruding from the anus; sometimes they may appear purple or blue.
Bleeding from the anus.
Pregnancy and labor. Hormonal changes during pregnancy increase blood flow to the pelvis and relax supportive tissues while the growing fetus causes increased pressure on blood vessels. During labor, hemorrhoids may develop because of the intense pressure on the anal area while pushing to deliver the baby.
Medical conditions. For example, long-term heart and liver disease may cause blood to pool in the abdomen and pelvic area, enlarging the veins.
In this article
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
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