It’s a timeless question asked by patients and the source of internet myths: If one gender is more prone to developing hemorrhoids than the other?
While there are a variety of reasons a woman may get more hemorrhoids than a man or vice versa, to say that one gender is more prone to develop hemorrhoids is both misleading and gives the impression that hemorrhoids are a gender-specific issue. This impression can cause embarrassment in patients and prevent them from seeking treatment, and while the internet is a wealth of information about virtually every topic, there are some myths that keep popping up.
This blog provides men and women information about hemorrhoids and how to treat them and debunks some of the common myths about who is more likely to get hemorrhoids.
It should be pointed out that both a person’s gender and age can affect their chances of developing hemorrhoids. For example, as we get older the connective tissues that hold and support the veins in our anus and rectum can weaken and cause hemorrhoids to form.
Hemorrhoids can also affect women more than men, they are very common during pregnancy. However, hemorrhoids are also extremely common in men, sitting for long periods of time, improperly lifting heavy objects, or straining while on the toilet can cause them to form.
It is important to note, that while hemorrhoids do not typically affect one gender more than the other, women are more prone to report the presence of hemorrhoids to their doctors than men, but tend to receive less treatment for hemorrhoids.
Nearly 75% of all Americans will have hemorrhoids at some time in their life, and there is no proven connection between men and hemorrhoids or women and hemorrhoids. While there have been studies completed suggesting men may be slightly more prone to hemorrhoids, current thinking is that men are more likely to seek treatment, and women are inclined to suffer through in the hope the hemorrhoids disappear. Unfortunately, hemorrhoids rarely go away on their own.
Regardless of age, gender, or circumstance, At Triborough GI we know there are several ways patients can help prevent hemorrhoids from developing in the first place:
These tips will also help women who are pregnant minimize the chances of getting hemorrhoids, but it should never be assumed they will prevent them altogether. Other factors, like the expanding uterus and giving birth, put pressure on the veins which can cause hemorrhoids to form. If a pregnant patient is concerned about hemorrhoids, discuss their treatment options and how they are safe for pregnancy.
Complications associated with hemorrhoids are rare, but it’s best to see a doctor if you exhibit any of the symptoms for a prolonged period of time.
You should also see a doctor if you are experiencing blood during bowel movements. Don’t assume this bleeding is simply a sign of hemorrhoids, especially if you are over 40 years of age; your bleeding could be a sign of something more dangerous, such as colorectal cancer. Call a hemorrhoid specialist at the first signs of pain or bleeding near the anus.
Once other diseases or conditions are ruled out and your doctor at Triborough GI diagnoses you with hemorrhoids, they may recommend a home remedy like a topic cream or using over-the-counter pain relievers.
If those treatments don’t suffice, your doctor may recommend a minimally invasive procedure to remove your hemorrhoids, most of which can be done as an outpatient experience.
Once you’ve been treated for hemorrhoids, most doctors will suggest lifestyle changes to prevent hemorrhoids in the future. These include:
Eating a high-fiber diet of vegetables and whole grains