Can You Get Hemorrhoids From Anal Sex?

Most anal pleasure can be painless, but if you’re experiencing discomfort, it may mean you aren’t using enough water-based lube or that your anus muscles are tight. Relaxing, using less thrusting and not over-doing it can help.

Also, make sure you use condoms during oral, manual, or penetrative anal play, and thoroughly wash your hands before and after.

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your rectum or the skin around your anus. They can be inside your anal canal (internal hemorrhoids) or outside your anal canal (external hemorrhoids). Hemorrhoids are common, especially in people over age 50. They can cause pain, itching and bleeding when you have a bowel movement. They are also more common in pregnant women because the extra pressure on the anus and rectum can cause them to form.

If you have hemorrhoids, your healthcare provider may do a rectal exam to see what kind you have. They will feel around the area with a gloved finger to check for swelling and redness. They can also do a digital rectal exam, which involves inserting a lubricated finger into your anus to look for any blood or a bulge.

Some over-the-counter treatments for hemorrhoids include using hemorrhoid suppositories and creams. These can help relieve the symptoms, but they don’t work for everyone. You can also try using wipes that have witch hazel, which can cleanse the area and reduce swelling and itching. You can also take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce pain.

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What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins near the anus and lower rectum that can cause pain and itching. They usually develop when there is pressure on the veins around the anus and rectum, such as straining during a bowel movement or sitting for long periods of time. Hemorrhoids can be inside the anal canal (called internal hemorrhoids) or on the outside of the anal canal (called external hemorrhoids).

Most people have hemorrhoidal tissue as part of their normal anatomy. However, only a small percentage of people have hemorrhoids that are symptomatic. Hemorrhoids can range in severity from mild to severe. Symptoms include itching, burning, and blood during a bowel movement or while having sex.

Hemorrhoids are diagnosed by a healthcare provider. The doctor will look at the anal area and check to see if there is any protrusion or bleeding. If there is, the doctor will evaluate the extent of the problem and decide what treatment plan is best. Over-the-counter treatments for hemorrhoids include creams with a local anesthetic, witch hazel wipes, and a stool softener or fiber supplement. If these home treatments don’t help, then the doctor may need to do more in-office treatment, such as a hemorrhoidectomy.

What are the causes of hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids can be caused by a variety of conditions. They can develop after pregnancy, when the extra weight puts pressure on blood vessels in the anal area. They can also form as a result of diarrhea or chronic constipation. Many people develop hemorrhoids as they get older, as the connective tissue that supports the blood vessels in the anal canal weakens over time.

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Symptomatic hemorrhoids usually go away on their own without treatment, but some medications can help to ease the pain and itching. A doctor can prescribe sitz baths, over-the-counter hemorrhoid ointments, and other remedies that can help to soothe the irritation and reduce symptoms.

Rarely, very painful or severe hemorrhoids may need to be treated by a healthcare provider with an in-office procedure. This can include a hemorrhoidectomy, which is the surgical removal of the hemorrhoids, or an alternative method like a rubber band sling. Having a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding heavy lifting can also minimize your risk of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids aren’t the prettiest topic to discuss, but they’re a very common and important health concern for many people.

What are the risks of hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that develop in and around the anal opening. They are most often associated with straining during bowel movements, but they can also result from sitting too long on the toilet, being overweight, pregnancy, constipation, diarrhea and receptive anal sex.

Hemorrhoid bumps are typically itchy and painful, but they usually go away on their own without treatment. Creams, ointments and suppositories are available that can help with pain and itching. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling.

In general, anal sex is unlikely to cause hemorrhoids, but it can irritate them if you do not use lubricant and you engage in rough play. You can avoid irritation by using a soft, smooth toy and going slowly. It is also helpful to eat a diet that is high in fiber and drink plenty of water, which helps prevent constipation, which can contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. If you do experience itching and bleeding during anal sex, stop immediately.

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How can I avoid hemorrhoids?

The good news is that while hemorrhoids are annoying, they’re not contagious (unlike genital warts or herpes). Hemorrhoids usually develop from things like sitting too long, straining during bowel movements, or having an improper diet. Anal sex doesn’t typically cause them, but it can irritate existing hemorrhoids if you already have them.

But there are ways to prevent hemorrhoids and keep them from getting worse. First, make sure to lube up during sex. This will help reduce friction on the anal canal, and it can make for a more comfortable sex experience. You should also avoid wiping too roughly or using unscented toilet paper. And if you’re dealing with internal hemorrhoids, try taking sitz baths a few times a day or using over-the-counter ointments, creams, and suppositories.

Finally, if you’re dealing with bleeding or itching from hemorrhoids, always talk to your doctor. He or she can give you advice on how to treat the symptoms and may prescribe something more intensive if your at-home treatments aren’t working. For more info on hemorrhoids, including risk factors and treatment options, visit the NIDDK website.

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