Straining to pass stools can lead to swollen blood vessels around the anus and rectum and cause haemorrhoids, or piles.
This may be accompanied by itching around the anus, discomfort or pain during and immediately after opening the bowels, anal discharge, and spots of red blood after passing stools.

Haemorrhoids can be caused by pregnancy, childbirth, irregular eating habits, poor toilet habits and being overweight.

There is a number of OTC treatments available to treat and relieve the symptoms of piles.
Products such as Preparation H, Anusol, Anusol Plus HC, help relieve local irritation and inflammation, whereas Germaloids cream help relieve pain, burning and itching.
To check if these products are suitable for you, make sure you read the patient information leaflet.

Signposting:

www.nhs.uk/conditions/piles-haemorrhoids/
www.bupa.co.uk/health-information/digestive-gut-health/haemorrhoids

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