Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins located around the anus or in the lower rectum. They can cause symptoms like itching, bleeding, and pain. Some people try to push hemorrhoids back inside the anus to find relief from the symptoms. This article will explore whether you can actually push a hemorrhoid back in with your finger and if it’s recommended.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are cushions of tissue containing swollen blood vessels that are located in the anal canal. There are two types of hemorrhoids:
These occur inside the rectum and are usually painless. You may not even know you have them unless they bleed during a bowel movement. Internal hemorrhoids can prolapse, which means they bulge outside of the anus.
These develop under the skin around the anus. They can be itchy or painful and may bleed if irritated. Thrombosed external hemorrhoids occur when blood pools in an external hemorrhoid, causing a painful swelling or lump.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Some contributing factors to developing hemorrhoids include:
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Straining during bowel movements
- Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- A low-fiber diet
- Heavy lifting
Increased pressure in the veins of the anus and rectum can cause the vessels to swell and bulge. Weakened support structures and strained muscles may also contribute. Genetics can make some people more prone to hemorrhoids as well.
Why Do Some People Try to Push Hemorrhoids Back In?
Prolapsed internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids can cause several bothersome symptoms, including:
- Pain and irritation
- Itching and burning
- Difficulty cleaning after a bowel movement
- Discomfort from having a lump near the anus
- Leakage of feces or mucus
Pushing the hemorrhoid back inside may provide temporary relief from these symptoms. Some people attempt to gently nudge a protruding, painful hemorrhoid back into the anal canal to find comfort.
However, this strategy rarely works long-term and can actually make the problem worse.
Can You Really Push a Hemorrhoid Back In?
It’s possible to temporarily push an internal hemorrhoid back inside, but it may protrude again, especially with straining from constipation or heavy lifting.
Trying to reduce an external hemorrhoid back inside is typically ineffective, very painful, and not recommended. The swollen vessels and tissue cannot go back through the anal opening as easily as they bulged out.
Forcing a hemorrhoid back in will not make it go away for good. The swollen vessels still exist, even if no longer visible or felt. The hemorrhoid is likely to protrude again.
Is it Safe to Push Hemorrhoids Back In?
No, you should not try to push hemorrhoids back inside, as this can harm the sensitive tissues and make symptoms worse rather than providing relief.
Risks and Dangers
Forcing a hemorrhoid inside can lead to:
- Increased pain and irritation
- Damaging the hemorrhoids
- Making them protrude even more
Pushing an external hemorrhoid inwards can strangulate the protruding vessels, cutting off circulation. This can be extremely painful and dangerous.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids should never be pushed back inside, as they contain a painful blood clot that needs to be surgically removed.
How to Find Relief from Hemorrhoids
Instead of attempting to push hemorrhoids back inside, try these safer, more effective methods:
- Use over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams, ointments, medicated wipes, or suppositories to relieve swelling, itching, and pain.
- Take warm tub baths and use unscented moist wipes to clean the area.
- Apply cold compresses or ice packs wrapped in cloth to reduce swelling.
- Keep the anal area clean and dry.
- Use a squatty potty or stool to reduce straining during bowel movements.
- Drink more water and eat a high-fiber diet to prevent constipation.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen as needed.
- Try not to sit or stand for long periods.
See your doctor if hemorrhoids:
- Bleed frequently
- Cause persistent discomfort
- Do not improve with home care
- Protrude from the anus
For persistent or severe cases, a doctor may recommend:
- Rubber band ligation – Rubber bands placed around the base of an internal hemorrhoid cut off its blood supply. The hemorrhoid and band fall off in a few days.
- Sclerotherapy – A chemical solution is injected around the blood vessel to shrink the hemorrhoid.
- Coagulation therapies – Laser, heat, or infrared light burns away hemorrhoid tissue.
- Hemorrhoidectomy – Surgery removes severe external or internal hemorrhoids.
Pushing hemorrhoids back inside the anus is not an effective or safe way to find relief. The swollen blood vessels will likely protrude again quickly. Forcing hemorrhoids inwards can also damage tissues and restrict blood flow, causing extreme pain and complications.
Instead of attempting to reposition hemorrhoids manually, treat the condition with at-home remedies and see a doctor if symptoms persist. Procedures like rubber band ligation and surgery can remove hemorrhoids that do not improve with conservative management. Focus on preventing constipation and avoiding straining during bowel movements to help prevent hemorrhoids from recurring.