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Women with endometriosis often experience hemorrhoids, a painful condition caused by enlarged blood vessels in the anus and rectum. These anorectal varicose veins can arise from diarrhea, constipation, and bowel endometriosis, all of which can increase abdominal pressure. Hemorrhoids are not a symptom of endometriosis itself.
For members already struggling with the full complement of endometrial woes, hemorrhoids present yet another worry.“I’m in so much pain when I have a B.M. Does anyone know about hemorrhoids?” asked one member. “I suffer from hemorrhoids and I feel like it's getting worse with endo belly,” wrote another.
It’s hard to know why and how hemorrhoids occur in women with endometriosis. Surgery and pain medications may be two culprits. “I ended up with hemorrhoids from being constipated from the pain meds,” reported one member. “It has only been five weeks [since surgery] and I think that I pushed them out. What kind of doctor should I see? Will it go away on its own? I’m so scared,” wrote one member.
Hemorrhoids may pop up or worsen during menstruation. Fluctuating hormones can activate diarrhea, constipation, and other bowel symptoms that add pressure in the rectum. Women with irritable bowel syndrome or endometrial lesions in the bowel area may be even more prone to hemorrhoids during their periods. “[Mine] severely flare up and bleed when on a period,” says another member.
Here are some member suggestions for hemorrhoid relief:
One member’s hemorrhoids were so bad, she resorted to painful surgery. “Still recovering from my hemorrhoidectomy, which is the worst pain I’ve ever been in.”|
Another member’s friend found relief in a supplement containing horse chestnut extract. Some studies have found that the plant-derived extract has anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve pain and swelling from varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Horse chestnut extract may be safe if used for short periods of time. Unprocessed horse chestnut or improperly processed horse chestnut can increase bleeding risk.
Always consult with your physician before taking horse chestnut extract or any other dietary supplements. Supplements may interact with medications and be unsafe in the wrong dosage. Nutritional supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Their safety and effectiveness has not been evaluated. The strength and purity of the ingredients may vary from brand to brand or batch to batch.
Although endometriosis and hemorrhoids are no laughing matter, some members have found humor in their plights. “My partner suggested that we tie dental floss around [the hemorrhoid], attach it to the door, and then slam the door. I disagreed with that idea,” said one.
Another, comforting a member who prayed her endo pain was caused by treatable conditions, remarked, “Ah endo, one of the only diseases in which people hope for hemorrhoids.” The consensus: “A real pain in the ass,” sums up one commenter.
Endometriosis can mimic gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. It’s important to discuss any new symptoms with your physician, who may refer you to a specialist.
On MyEndometriosisTeam, the social network and online support group for those living with endometriosis, members talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles, including hemorrhoids.
Here’s a question-and-answer thread about hemorrhoids:
Here are conversations about hemorrhoids:
Have another topic you'd like to discuss or explore? Go to MyEndometriosisTeam today and start the conversation. You'll be surprised how many others share similar stories.