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What Causes Haemorrhoids?

Haemorrhoid swelling is generally the result of increased pressure in the small vessels that make up the hemorrhoid, thus causing them to swell and engorge with blood. This causes the hemorrhoid to increase in size and leads to symptomatic hemorrhoids. A number of factors are believed to play a part in its occurrence; however, the exact cause of symptomatic hemorrhoids is unknown. Increased pressure in the small blood vessels may be caused by a variety of factors some of which are:

  • Irregular bowel habits that result in constipation or diarrhoea, both acute and chronic
  • A lack of exercise
  • Increased intra-abdominal pressure due to prolonged straining, ascitis, intra-abdominal mass, or pregnancy
  • Pregnancy is associated with hemorrhoid swelling caused by increased pressure of the enlarged uterus on the rectum and anus. Hormonal changes during pregnancy cause hemorrhoidal vessels to enlarge and may also weaken the muscles that support the rectum and the anus. (Pregnant women rarely need surgical treatment for hemorrhoids caused by pregnancy, and symptoms usually resolve on their own after delivery.)
  • Obesity
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Spinal cord injury and a lack of correct posture
  • Chronic cough and pelvic floor dysfunction
  • Low fibre diet and smaller calibre stool which causes a person to strain while having bowel movement and resulting in excess pressure within the blood vessels
  • Colon cancer
  • Previous rectal surgery
  • Prolonged sitting on the toilet, in some extreme cases, causes an excess increase in the pressure within the hemorrhoidal blood vessels.