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What is a Prolapsed Hemorrhoid?

Mary McMahon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A prolapsed hemorrhoid is a hemorrhoid inside the anus that has been pushed out, usually as a result of straining on the toilet. Prolapsed hemorrhoids can take a number of forms, and at times, they may require medical intervention. Often, however, they can be managed at home. Many people experience hemorrhoids at some point during their lives, and home treatment can resolve the symptoms and increase comfort for the patient while they heal naturally.

Hemorrhoids are small pockets of swollen skin and veins caused by inflammation of the veins in and around the anus. As the veins become inflamed, they swell, and the area becomes irritated. Low level hemorrhoids may not be noticed, but if they get large or start to prolapse, the patient can experience bleeding around the anus in addition to pain, especially while using the toilet. Prompt treatment can bring the inflammation down quickly and reduce more painful symptoms.

In some cases, a hemorrhoid pops out of the anus while someone is straining on the toilet, and retracts when someone is done. In other instances, manual force may be required to push the hemorrhoid back into the anus after it has protruded. With a severe prolapsed hemorrhoid, even manual pressure will not push the swelled tissue back into place. This can be dangerous, as it may result in a strangulated hemorrhoid, a hemorrhoid that has been cut off from its blood supply.

Treatments for this problem can include home care measures like eating a diet that reduces constipation, soaking the area around the anus in warm water with a device like a sitz bath, and applying compresses to the area. Gentle cleanings with astringents can also help reduce the inflammation in addition to reducing the risk of infection. Applications of hemorrhoid cream or lubricants can also help resolve a prolapsed hemorrhoid before it grows large.

If these measures do not work, surgery on the internal hemorrhoid may be required. It can be removed surgically or with the assistance of a laser, or a doctor might use a technique known as rubber band ligation to starve the hemorrhoid of blood so that it drops off. Surgery is an appropriate option when the patient starts to experience complications, is in pain, or there is fear that the hemorrhoid is or may become strangulated, in which case it should be removed before tissue death occurs.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a The Health Board researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon925733 — On Jan 14, 2014

I just wanted to say that I feel for all of you. I've been the same for years and years. But yesterday, I went into hospital to have them removed. I had them stitched as they said this would be the easier option.

I'm dreading going for a poop but I'm eager to, also, if that makes sense.

Don't stay in pain as it's embarrassing (for me as a guy, anyway). There's nothing worse than thinking of waking up and seeing the bed a mess. My Mrs understands but if this were a new girlfriend. I'd be mortified.

Go have it sorted. As I say, I've had many an embarrassing accident and it has ruined my life for so long. Just my little experience. --Gary

By anon345910 — On Aug 23, 2013

Well, I have to change my diet. I see now it was hurting me for a while. Now I saw a little blood and freaked out, but I read some stuff so I know I am not alone. I will eat more fiber fruits and vegetables now.

By anon300034 — On Oct 27, 2012

I'm 39 weeks pregnant and have developed two huge hemorrhoids which are extremely painful and uncomfortable. I'm writing this within three hours of discovery and don't know what to do.

I have to take iron three times a day, which causes constipation, and it's hard to control this with diet. What can I do while I wait to see the doctor in a few days?

By orangey03 — On Dec 24, 2011

@lighth0se33 – I have also had trouble sitting down because of painful prolapsed hemorrhoids. It can be embarrassing, because people have to notice that something is wrong with you.

I've never looked down there with a mirror while in pain, and I've never talked to my doctor about it. So, I am surprised to read that it is possible for a prolapsed hemorrhoid to come out of your anus and stay out. I wonder if this has happened to me during my painful episodes.

They always seem to go away in an hour or two. I feel bad for people who have to have surgery to get rid of them. I hope mine continue to disappear on their own.

By shell4life — On Dec 23, 2011

I have used petroleum jelly on my prolapsed hemorrhoids. When you have to wipe and you have one of these bothering you, it can be pretty painful. Lubrication helps you wipe without wincing so much.

I put a little bit of the petroleum jelly on the toilet paper before wiping. With each new piece of paper I have to use, I add more lubricant.

It doesn't burn and bleed when I do this. Without it, it can be very hard to get the area clean. It's difficult to do what is necessary when you have to hurt yourself to do it.

By cloudel — On Dec 22, 2011

The first time I saw blood on my toilet paper after a bowel movement, I was scared that I might have cancer. My mother told me that hemorrhoids frequently cause bright red blood to come out, so I felt better right away.

I have a lot of trouble with constipation, so I already knew I had hemorrhoids. That was just the first time they had bled.

After I had a particularly painful prolapsed hemorrhoid, I decided to do something to prevent flareups. I switched from white bread to whole wheat, and I also started eating whole grain cereal. I even started getting the whole grain English muffins instead of the regular ones that I loved so much.

It has made all the difference. I haven't had any more prolapsed hemorrhoids, and I haven't even been constipated since I started this new diet. I would recommend it to anyone with this sort of problem.

By lighth0se33 — On Dec 22, 2011

I used to eat a poor diet, and I experienced prolapsed hemorrhoids often. The pain would linger long after the bowel movement was done, and it made me feel like stools were still pressing on my anus.

It hurt to sit down. Sometimes, if I sat on the toilet long enough, the hemorrhoid would retract, and things would go back to normal. However, often, I just had to sit down carefully and to one side until the pain went away.

I never had surgery, and after I added more fiber, fruits, and vegetables to my diet, I stopped having hemorrhoid pain. If that's all it takes, I will do it forever to keep the discomfort away.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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