Skip to main content

Hemorrhoid Symptoms

Hemorrhoids are not life threatening. Symptoms usually go away within a few days, and some people with hemorrhoids never have symptoms. Symptoms vary by person and depend on whether you have internal or external hemorrhoids. Here are some common symptoms:

  1. Painless bleeding during bowel movements
  2. Anal itch
  3. Anal pain and/or discomfort
  4. Rectal burning and/or pain
  5. Swelling around the anus
  6. A lump near the anus, which may be sensitive or painful
  7. Leakage of feces
Hemorrhoid Symptoms


Internal Hemorrhoid Symptoms

Internal hemorrhoids can become painful when straining pushes them out through the anus (also called a “prolapsed hemorrhoid”). When this happens, it may cause irritation and itching.

* Harvard Health Publications. “Hemorrhoids and what to do about them.” Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 2004.


External Hemorrhoid Symptoms

External hemorrhoids can lead to discomfort and itching because they make cleaning this area difficult. If a blood clot forms inside an external hemorrhoid, the pain can be sudden and severe.

* Harvard Health Publications. “Hemorrhoids and what to do about them.” Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 2004.


When to See a Healthcare Provider

Hemorrhoid symptoms can be similar to or indicative of other more serious conditions. If you have bleeding or think you have hemorrhoids, see your healthcare provider. If your hemorrhoid symptoms began along with a marked change in bowel habits or if you're passing black, tarry or maroon stools, blood clots or blood mixed in with the bowel movements, consult your healthcare provider immediately. These types of bowel movements can signal more extensive bleeding elsewhere in your digestive tract. Seek emergency care if you experience large amounts of rectal bleeding, lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting.


Emotional Effects

While the physical pain of hemorrhoids can be severe, the emotional aspects can also be difficult. Hemorrhoid symptoms can affect your quality of life.If you suffer from hemorrhoids, you might feel embarrassed, isolated and ashamed as a result of your condition. For more information on how symptoms can affect your emotions, see The Emotional Toll of Hemorrhoids.