What are piles?
They are swellings that develop inside and around the back passage (anal canal). There is a network of small veins (blood vessels) within the lining of the anal canal
What are the symptoms of piles?
✔small swellings on the inside lining of the anal canal. They cannot be seen or felt from outside the opening of the back passage (anus)
✔larger. They may be partly pushed out from the anus when you go to the toilet, but quickly spring back inside
✔ hang out from the anus when you go to the toilet. You may feel one or more as small, soft lumps that hang from the anus. However, you can push them back inside the anus with a finger.
✔permanently hang down from within the anus, and you cannot push them back inside. They sometimes become quite large.
The most common symptom is bleeding after going to the toilet to pass stools (faeces). The blood is usually bright red and may be noticed on the toilet tissue, in the toilet pan or coating the stools.
A pile can hang down (prolapse) and can be felt outside the back passage. Often, it can be pushed back up after you have been to the toilet. However, more severe piles remain permanently prolapsed and cannot be pushed back up inside.
Small internal piles are usually painless. Larger piles may cause a mucous discharge, some pain, irritation and itch. The discharge may irritate the skin around the anus. You may have a sense of fullness in the anus, or a feeling of not fully emptying your back passage when you go to the toilet.
What causes piles?
If you delay going to the toilet and need to strain when on the toilet then this can increase the pressure and so makes it more likely that a pile will develop.
What makes piles more likely?
✔Constipation, passing large stools (faeces), and straining at the toilet.
✔Pregnancy. Piles are common during pregnancy. This is probably due to pressure effects of the baby lying above the rectum and anus.
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