Do I have hemorrhoids?
When doctors ask patients what problem they’re having with their bottoms, most people likely answer hemorrhoids. What do hemorrhoids mean to people? It could mean pain near the anus, bleeding, itching, extra tissue or drainage. These all cause problems for people and each have a solution, but what they don’t have in common is that they are not all due to hemorrhoids. So let’s explore different booty problems and answer the question: “Do I really have hemorrhoids?”
Problem: Booty Pain
What is it? Pain near your anus. May be on and off or present constantly. Here are some common causes of pain. Notice that most are not related to hemorrhoids.
Anal fissure: a cut in the anal area due to some form of trauma.
What you feel: Pain + bleeding often after passing a hard poop. The pain can be intense and often continues for days, weeks or longer even after the bleeding stops.
Thrombosed external hemorrhoid: a blood clot in hemorrhoid tissue on the outer edge of the anus.
What you feel: A firm, painful, marble-like smooth swelling you feel from the outside, often after straining or spending too much time on the toilet. The pain and pressure is the worst during the first 2-3 days. Then the pain lessens, but the marble can hang around for days and sometimes weeks, but it gets smaller and then disappears.
Abscess or infection: a big pimple close to the anus. Most common infections are random events that start from glands inside the anus and work themselves out to the skin.
What you feel: A painful pimple or boil either next to or a little away from the anus, often with surrounding redness; possible fevers. Once the pus drains, the pressure and pain lessens.
Sexually transmitted diseases: any disease you can get in the genitals, you can get in the anus as well. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes to name a few.
Problem: Bleeding with a Bowel Movement
What is it? Painless bleeding typically accompanies a bowel movement, either in the toilet or found upon cleaning. A common cause is an enlarged internal hemorrhoid (from deep within the anus) that gets filled with blood due to pressure placed while sitting on the toilet or straining to poop. Other less common causes include abnormalities of the colon or rectum and even tumors or masses.
What you feel: Often people feel nothing but see blood in the toilet or while cleaning after a bowel movement.
What is it? If pain accompanies the bleeding, you have to consider problems other than hemorrhoids, such as anal fissures.
What you feel: Often the pain and bleeding start together after a hard bowel movement or other trauma. Even when the bleeding stops, the pain can continue.
What is it? This problem most likely has nothing to do with hemorrhoids. It’s usually a skin problem in the booty area or irritation of the sensitive skin in that area, often due to cleaning too much or using products with chemicals such as wipes or ointments.
What you feel: Anal itching, either around the outside or deeper in. People often scratch the area, worsening the irritation, leading to further itching.
What is it? Any liquid-like substance, most commonly yellow, but sometimes a little bloody that leaks out from around the anus and often stains your underwear.
What you feel: Wetness or moisture in the anal area. Staining in the underwear. Many people have no pain or problems pooping, just the drainage that may occur all day long. A common cause (assuming there are no problems with incontinence which is not being able to hold in gas or stool) is an anal fistula. This is normally a result of an abscess (see above) that forms a connection from inside the anus to the outside area, almost like a tunnel.
Problem: Something hanging out
What is it? Feeling or seeing something extra around the opening of the anus. This can be a result of multiple things. Although a hemorrhoid can stick out, other more common causes unrelated to hemorrhoids are a skin tag (stretched out skin), polyps, and warts to name a few.
What you feel: This can vary depending on the cause. Some things feels soft, others are more firm. Some you can push in and others you cannot. An examination by a doctor experienced in looking at these will often given the correct diagnosis.
It is most important to remember, just because you have issues in or around your booty, do NOT assume it is due to hemorrhoids. Have your doctor examine you and give you the correct diagnosis. You may even need additional testing, examinations, or even a referral to a proctologist to reach the correct diagnosis. Never assuming you know what it is and getting a good examination is vital, because the correct diagnosis will lead you to the correct treatment and end your suffering.
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