Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, can pop up inside or outside the anus, and they come in different severities:

  • First degree – These are small swellings on the inside lining of the anus, hidden from view
  • Second degree – These swellings are a bit bigger and might appear during a trip to the bathroom, but they go back in on their own
  • Third degree – These are soft lumps that hang down and can be pushed back inside if needed
  • Fourth degree – These are the stubborn ones that hang down and can’t be pushed back in.


Not everyone with piles experiences discomfort, but here are some signs to watch out for:

  • Bleeding during bowel movements, where you might notice blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet
  • A lump around the anus
  • A mucus discharge or some leakage from the anus
  • Feeling like you haven’t quite emptied out
  • Itchy or sore skin around the anus
  • Discomfort or pain after going to the bathroom, especially if the piles are on the outside.

Why Do They Happen?

There’s no one reason why piles show up, but a mix of factors can bump up your chances:

  • Getting Older – As we age, our body’s cells weaken, and that includes the veins down there, making them swell up
  • Bathroom Troubles – Frequent constipation or diarrhea can force you to strain during bowel movements which can damage rectal veins
  • Obesity – Carrying extra weight, especially around your midsection, puts pressure on the pelvic veins, upping your risk
  • Pregnancy – All the changes your body goes through when you’re expecting can increase the pressure on your pelvic veins and may improve after giving birth
  • Genetics – If your family has a history of weak rectal linings, you might be more prone to developing piles.

Knowing what causes haemorrhoids and spotting the signs early can help you manage them better, so don’t hesitate to contact your doctor and seek a referral to the Vein Doctors Group. Our phlebologists can organise direct access to a gastroenterologist to investigate bleeding from the rectum prior to planning for modern methods of endovenous laser ablation to manage the haemorrhoids.