Hemorrhoids: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 4/14/2020

Hemorrhoids are blood vessels located in the smooth muscles of the walls of the rectum and anus. When these vessels become abnormally enlarged, discomfort and bleeding may occur.

Signs and symptoms of swollen hemorrhoids include

  • itching around the anus,
  • irritation and pain around the anus,
  • an itchy or painful lump or swelling near the anus,
  • fecal leakage, or
  • painful bowel movements.

In some cases, people may notice blood on toilet tissue after having a bowel movement.

Causes of hemorrhoids

An increase in the pressure in the small vessels causes the enlargement of hemorrhoids. A variety of factors, such as a low-fiber diet, pregnancy, obesity, diarrhea, constipation, rectal surgery, and straining during bowel movements, may cause the increased pressure.

Other hemorrhoids symptoms and signs

  • Blood on Toilet Paper After a Bowel Movement
  • Fecal Leakage
  • Irritation and Pain Around the Anus
  • Itching Around the Anus
  • Itchy or Painful Lump or Swelling Near the Anus
  • Painful Bowel Movements

Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.