The essentials of managing haemorrhoids (piles)
Haemorrhoids, otherwise known as piles, are swellings in the rectum and anus that contain enlarged blood vessels. They often don’t cause any symptoms at all, and most people will be unaware that they even have them.
They may happen during or after pregnancy, or with an episode of straining with constipation. They often go away after a few days, but some people do experience them on a regular basis.
Symptoms may include fresh blood after bowel movements, itching, or lumps and discomfort around the anus.
Prevention is key. Avoiding constipation, drinking sufficient fluids, good bowel habits, keeping a sensible body weight and eating sufficient fibre can all help to avoid an occurrence or piles.
Treatment includes good hygiene after bowel movements, over the counter creams and cold packs—these can all help to ease the symptoms.
It is always worthwhile checking out any unexpected bleeding or changes in bowel habits with your GP. There is lots of useful information on the NHS website.
Pelvic floor exercises will not cause, aggravate or worsen piles. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that they will help to prevent or treat them either. However, good pelvic floor function is always helpful, so all women should continue to do their pelvic floor muscles on a daily basis, and men should do them if they have symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction, such as urinary leakage.