Pain when you poo? You could have haemorrhoids and should see a GP

Haemorrhoids, or piles, are swollen blood vessels found in or around the anus, according to the NHS.

They’re very common, and almost half of all people develop piles at some point in their lifetime.

The condition can cause bleeding after passing a stool, an itchy anus, or a mucus discharge after using the toilet.

But, you should see a GP if you’re experiencing pain while passing a stool.

“In many cases, haemorrhoids don't cause symptoms and some people don't even realise they have them,” said the NHS.

“Haemorrhoids aren't usually painful, unless their blood supply slows down or is interrupted.

“See your GP if you have persistent or severe symptoms of haemorrhoids. You should always get any rectal bleeding checked so your doctor can rule out more potentially serious causes.

“Speak to your GP if your symptoms don't get better or you experience pain or bleeding.”

A tenderness or pain during bowel movements could be a sign of piles.

Other signs include a painful swelling or lump near the anus, and having a lump hanging down outside of the anus.

The symptoms of haemorrhoids often clear up by themselves, the NHS said.

Some simple treatments, available at your local pharmacy, could help to get rid of piles.

If you do see a doctor, they’ll diagnose haemorrhoids by using a quick internal examination.

There’s no reason to be embarrassed by piles. It’s a very common condition, and GPs are used to diagnosing it.

You can lower your risk of haemorrhoids by increasing the amount of fibre in your diet.

Delaying going to the toilet increases your risk of piles, as it can make stools harder and drier, which may lead to straining when you do go to the toilet.