Hemorrhoids or piles are inflamed or swollen veins in your lower rectum and anus. Hemorrhoids are usually the outcome of putting too much strain during bowel movements. Increased pressure on these veins may be the reason why you’ve developed hemorrhoids during pregnancy. You may have internal hemorrhoids or you may have external hemorrhoids. Many people try different things to limit the discomfort they experience with hemorrhoids, while others wait for it to go away. This leaves people with a question, “Do hemorrhoids go away on their own?” Keep reading to find answer to this question.
Do Hemorrhoids Go Away on Their Own?
Unfortunately, hemorrhoids won’t go away without using any treatment options. So many factors will aggravate the condition, and some of them are straining during bowel movement, sitting for long periods, constipation, frequent diarrhea, overuse of laxatives, poor diet, pregnancy, heredity factors and infection of the rectum.
There are two basic types of hemorrhoids:
- External hemorrhoids: Found just under the skin of your anus, these can be felt during examination. They cause serious itching, pain and sometimes bleeding.
- Internal hemorrhoids: Found inside the anus, your doctor cannot see it during a physical examination. These hemorrhoids will eventually push through your anus and turn into external hemorrhoids.
Do hemorrhoids go away on their own? No, they don’t. The next question is usually, “How long do hemorrhoids last?” There is no single answer to this question though. Most people feel better after a couple of weeks of flare-ups, but that’s not the same for all. They may last until you go for surgery. Pain, itching and tenderness may persist because there is always pressure on rectal veins during bowel movements. Different factors may contribute to healing though.
- Small internal or external hemorrhoids may heal within a week or so, but enlarged internal hemorrhoids may take at least a couple of months to improve.
- Your hemorrhoids may heal faster if you’ve experienced them for the first time. However, it will take longer for recurrent hemorrhoids to heal.
- You may have to wait until your pregnancy is over if your hemorrhoids have hit you after becoming pregnant.
How to Treat Hemorrhoids
Now you know the answer to “Do hemorrhoids go away on their own?” You may be looking for how to treat the condition. Here’s what you can do about it.
- Try to sit in a tub with a few inches of warm water at least thrice a day for 20 minutes each to reduce the inflammation. Be sure to dry the anal area afterwards.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water and add more fiber to your diet. This will prevent constipation that always aggravates your hemorrhoids. By avoiding constipation, you will be able to reduce pressure on your rectum, which in turn will reduce further discomfort, swelling and bleeding.
- You may use stool softeners to prevent flare-ups, but once you have hemorrhoids, even liquid stools may lead to infection and inflammation of the anus.
- Don’t sit for extended hours or try to sit on a rubber or air donut. Be sure to stay active and exercise regularly to relieve constipation and improve your blood circulation. Be sure to have a bowel movement as soon as you have the urge. Delaying it will put strain on the hemorrhoidal veins and may even cause constipation.
- Try OTC ointments, creams and suppositories for pain relief. Remember, they won’t cure hemorrhoids but they will numb the area, thus decreasing swelling and inflammation.
Medical Procedures for Hemorrhoids
If you find out the answer to “Do hemorrhoids go away on their own?” is negative in your case, then medical procedures may help you a lot. There are a number of medical options available for you to treat your hemorrhoids.
Using OTC creams and ointments usually helps, but severe hemorrhoids need specific creams that contain ingredients like hydrocortisone and witch hazel. Avoid using OTC creams for more than a week though, or they may lead to certain side effects, including inflammation, skin rash and skin thinning.
2. Minimally Invasive Procedures
Sometimes, a blood clot forms inside the external hemorrhoids. A simple incision is usually required to remove it. Your doctor may opt for another minimally invasive procedure for painful hemorrhoids.
- Rubber band ligation involves placing a couple of tiny rubber bands around the base of your internal hemorrhoids. This will cut off blood supply and your hemorrhoid will wither within a week.
- Sclerotherapy involves taking an injection into the hemorrhoid tissue. It contains a chemical solution that makes your hemorrhoid tissue to shrink.
- Coagulation involves using infrared or laser light to help your internal hemorrhoids to harden and shrivel.
3. Surgical procedures
In some cases, there remains no other choice but to go for a surgical procedure. You may have to stay in the hospital for a day after your surgery. Here are some surgery options for you:
- A hemorrhoidectomy is an effective surgical procedure used to remove excessive tissue that may be causing bleeding. Your doctor may perform the surgery with a local anesthetic combined with sedation or only use a general anesthetic. It is an effective way to treat recurring hemorrhoids, but some complications may arise, which include urinary tract infections and temporary difficulty in emptying your bladder. Soaking in a warm bath after your surgery may help relieve discomfort.
- Hemorrhoid stapling is another common procedure used to block blood flow to your hemorrhoidal tissue. It is a less painful procedure as compared to hemorrhoidectomy. However, with stapling, there will always be chances of rectal prolapse, a condition in which part of your rectum may protrude from your anus.
Know the symptoms and more treatments of hemorrhoids from the video below: