Select your country

Health & Wellbeing / Claire Blackmore

#TabooTuesday: The Lowdown On Piles and Periods

Piles are enlarged blood vessels that form in and around the anus, and anyone who’s suffered with them, will agree they’re a right pain in the bum.

Today our resident Pink Parcel GP, Dr. Khaled Sadek of The Smart Clinics, gives us the lowdown on piles and what causes them…

Are piles the same as hemorrhoids? What exactly are they?

“Haemorrhoids (commonly known as piles) are vessels which normally make up the vascular structure of the lower rectum. Ideally, this group of vessels helps with the smooth passage of stools. However, once inflamed they give rise to symptoms such as pain, bleeding and discomfort.

What causes them?

“Blood vessels of the lower rectum are part of a complex and unique network which help maintain smooth and comfortable defecation.

“Unlike regular veins or arteries, they lack muscle within their walls and can become engorged and swollen with excessive straining or increased intra-abdominal pressure. This increased pressure causes them to ‘blow-out’, in the same way you would expect the inner tube of a tyre to do if you pumped it with too much air. This results in rupture and ulcerate.

Do they hurt?

“The two commonest complaints is first bleeding, and then pain. The pain results from either ulceration on the vessels following a bleed or, worse still, from thrombosis within the vessel. Thrombosis is the formation of a clot following a bleed, as Mother Nature tries to plug the hole.

How can you get rid of them?

“Although there are over-the-counter treatments available from the pharmacy, there is no easy fix once they develop, so your best strategy is prevention. Simple steps include maintaining soft stools, through increased dietary fiber, and avoiding straining to pass stools. In more severe cases, surgeons can treat using a range of options including laser, freezing, banding or cauterization.

Why do piles flare up when you get your period?

“Occasionally women complain piles flare-up during periods. There is some research, mainly around pregnancies, which highlights the presence of oestrogen and progesterone receptors, similar to those seen in normal breast tissue, are also found in haemorrhoids. These findings could account for these symptoms, but the jury is still out.”

If you haven’t signed up to Pink Parcel yet, it’s time to start enjoying your period! Subscribe here and you’ll have everything you need (and want) sent directly to your door.

You might also like...

Health & Wellbeing

Two Tampons Stuck Inside: What Happens If You Put Two Tampons In?

Life is busy and let’s face it, keeping on top of everyday to-do lists means that sometimes you can find yourself forgetting...


Adult Acne: Ask The Body Experts

We all have occasional breakouts, and it’s super-common to get more pimples around the time of your period, but if you suffer...

Health & Wellbeing

10 Iron-Rich Foods To Eat On Your Period

Long or heavy periods suck for a heap of practical reasons, but if you’re bleeding heavily every month, there’s also a chance...

Health & Wellbeing

Postnatal Depression: Ask The Body Experts

According to the NHS, postnatal depression affects more than one in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. It can...

chevron-right instagram twitter facebook-f snapchat youtube pintrest Magnifing glass User icon Envelope icon