Haemorrhoids (Piles)

Understand haemorrhoids, and their causes and symptoms.

Haemorrhoids (Piles)


Haemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, are swollen and inflamed blood vessels in and around your anus and rectum. You can get them inside the rectum (internal haemorrhoids) or around the anus (external haemorrhoids). If blood pools in an external haemorrhoid and forms a clot it is called a thrombosed haemorrhoid. Nearly 3 out of every 4 adults will experience haemorrhoids.


Hemorrhoids can develop from increased pressure in the lower rectum and swollen blood vessels. Most likely causes are:

  • Constipation
  • Pushing too hard during bowel movement
  • Heavy lifting
  • Pregnancy
  • Low fibre diet


Haemorrhoid symptoms vary on the type of haemorrhoid you have (external vs internal) but here are the general symptoms you should look out for in or around your anus:

  • Itching or irritation
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Swelling or a hard lump
  • Small amounts of painless bright red bleeding (on toilet paper or in toilet bowl)

PillSorted is an NHS full-service pharmacy that delivers.