Do Hemorrhoids Go Away on Their Own?

Apr 01, 2024

Do Hemorrhoids Go Away on Their Own?

For some people, hemorrhoids are a minor nuisance that clears up on their own. For others, hemorrhoids become a nagging and uncomfortable problem that can benefit from a little outside help.

We’re going to kick off this discussion about hemorrhoids and whether they go away on their own with a spoiler — some do go away while other hemorrhoids hang on and cause ongoing problems. And everything in between.

In this month’s blog post, the team of highly experienced colorectal experts here at Fairfax Colon & Rectal Surgery takes a quick dive into the world of hemorrhoids. Considering that hemorrhoids affect about half of adults but the age of 50, it’s a good idea to have some basic knowledge about this common condition. 

The different types of hemorrhoids

In the most basic of terms, hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins, and they can develop in one of two places:

  • External hemorrhoids around the exterior of your anus
  • Internal hemorrhoids that develop in the lining of your anus or in your rectum

This common condition usually develops when you strain during bowel movements or when you have excessive gas that you’re trying to push out. This exertion places pressure on the blood vessels around your anus and rectum, causing them to become inflamed.

Many conditions can lead to straining during bowel movements or gas, such as:

  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Not getting enough fiber in your diet
  • Sitting on the toilet for long periods

Hemorrhoids are also often associated with pregnancy and childbirth. During pregnancy, the growing fetus places increasing pressure on your anus, and delivery definitely counts as straining. 

By the same token, people who routinely lift heavy objects (such as weight lifting) are also more prone to hemorrhoids.

The timeline of hemorrhoids

As we mentioned, there are no set-in-stone timelines when it comes to hemorrhoids. For example, if you develop some minor external hemorrhoids, you may only deal with some itchiness for a few days, and they clear up on their own.

On the other end of the spectrum, you might develop internal hemorrhoids that prolapse (protrude) outside your anal canal.

While internal hemorrhoids are more likely to become problematic, external ones often require treatment, especially if they’re large or they develop a blood clot or infection.

Our point is that no matter the location, some hemorrhoids can very much benefit from treatment, especially if you’re dealing with rectal bleeding and discomfort that doesn’t go away with conservative treatments, such as over-the-counter hemorrhoid ointments.

You need to be your own advocate when it comes to hemorrhoids, but we suggest that you come to see if your symptoms continue or worsen after a week or two. Of the 10 million people who have hemorrhoids at any given time in the United States, about one-third wisely seek help.

Solutions for problematic hemorrhoids

If we find that your hemorrhoids need a higher standard of care, the good news is that you’re in great hands with our team. We offer different options that make quick work of hemorrhoids, including:

  • Barron ligature — we cut off the supply of blood to the hemorrhoid
  • Infrared coagulation — we use light energy to seal the hemorrhoid
  • Hemorrhoidevcetomy — we surgically remove the hemorrhoid

To figure out whether your hemorrhoids should receive treatment and what type, please contact one of our offices in Fairfax, Fair Oaks, Alexandria, Gainesville, Woodbridge, or Lansdowne, Virginia, to schedule a consultation.