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Watch informative advice videos with Dr Christian Jenssen

Symptoms of Piles

Piles are just about the last thing you need. They're a pain – literally – and can have a real impact on your daily routine.

What are the symptoms of piles? Well, as you'd guess, they're not very pleasant. They vary from person to person. You may get just one, or if you're really unlucky, several.

Just remember: it's not the end of the world – and there's plenty you can do to make them better!

You may have piles if you've got:

What are the symptoms of piles?

There are a few key symptoms to look out for if you suspect you have piles:

  • Itchiness, soreness and/or inflammation around the anus
  • Bleeding when passing stool (the blood will be bright red)
  • Mucous discharge after passing stool
  • Discomfort or pain while you're going to the loo
  • Feeling like your bowels need to be emptied even after going to the toilet
  • A bulging or lumpy feeling just inside your back passage
  • Hard lump(s) protruding from your bottom
  • Occasional sharp pains up your bottom
  • A dragging sensation in your back passage
What do piles feel like?

If you have small, internal piles, you may not be able to feel or see them. Instead, you will most likely notice one of the above symptoms. If you have larger piles, you may feel a small hard lump on the outside of your anus, or even feel a lump hanging down.

Who is most likely to get piles?

Certain people are more likely like get piles than others, such as:

  • Men and women over the age of 45 (men and women are equally at risk)
  • Pregnant women, as extra weight increases the pressure on your pelvic blood vessels
  • Women who have just given birth, from pushing during childbirth

To find out more about piles amongst new mums click here

There are also certain lifestyle factors that make you more likely to suffer from piles, such as:

  • Being overweight
  • Not eating enough dietary fibre, which can lead to constipation and straining
  • Prolonged diarrhoea
  • Frequently lifting heavy objects
  • A family history of piles and weak blood vessels

If you've got any other symptoms (especially heavy bleeding from your bottom or a noticeable change in your stool), see your doctor straight away.

It's also a good idea to visit your GP if this is the first time you've had piles. They may recommend an over the counter treatment which you can buy from your local pharmacy, supermarket and online. And by making little changes to your daily routine, you can start making a difference right away.

How can you get relief?

You've got a range of treatment options easily available. Find out more about how you can treat piles.

  1. Treatment