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Hemorrhoids or Prolapse, What’s the Difference?

Suffering From Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids and prolapse are two different conditions, but they are common. Let’s take a closer look at each condition and the main differences.

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins in the anus or lower rectum that cause pain, itching, and bleeding. They may be internal or external. Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum, and external hemorrhoids are located outside the anus.

What’s a prolapse?

Prolapse is a condition where part of the rectum protrudes from the anus. Prolapse can occur with or without hemorrhoids. The main difference between hemorrhoids and prolapse is that hemorrhoids are enlarged veins, while prolapse is an actual displacement of the tissue.

What are hemorrhoid symptoms?

Hemorrhoid symptoms can include: pain and/or itching and swelling around the anus, that develop during bowel movements (sometimes this symptom is mistaken for prolapse), anal pain, and bright red blood on the toilet tissue or in the stool. Not everyone will experience all of these symptoms. If you experience any combination of symptoms, talk to your doctor right away so they can treat it as early as possible. 

Some treatments include ice packs, topical creams such as steroid cream or anesthetic ointment, suppositories to help manage pain and itching, and fiber supplements and stool softeners to help them from getting worse. In severe cases, surgery might be required for treatment.

What are prolapse symptoms?

Prolapse treatment depends on the severity of prolapse. Symptoms can include: a feeling as if something just “gave way” in the vagina or rectum, heaviness and pressure in the vagina or rectum, loss of bowel control (fecal incontinence), difficulty emptying the bladder, constipation due to straining with bowel movements, pain during bowel movements. Prolapse does not go away by itself, so it’s essential to see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment plan for your specific case of prolapse.

What are some hemorrhoid treatments?

Some hemorrhoid treatments include natural remedies such as cream, supplements, stool softeners, and fiber supplements. In severe cases, surgery might be required for treatment. If you are pregnant, treatments such as surgery are not recommended.

There is a lot of overlap between the symptoms of hemorrhoids and prolapse, so it’s important to see your doctor for a diagnosis if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. They can be treated with various methods depending on the severity of the condition. Early treatment is key to preventing more severe problems down the road. So if you’re experiencing any symptoms, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor! They will help you get relief from your uncomfortable symptoms.

Ask your doctor about HemWell, an FDA-approved, pain-free treatment that’s permanent. If your provider doesn’t offer HemWell, we can assist you in finding one that does. Please visit our website to learn more about this life-changing treatment. Learn more about hemorrhoids.