Causes of Hemorrhoids

The question "What causes hemorrhoids?" is a good one if you have ever experienced the pain and itchiness that sometimes accompanies this common health problem. There are a variety of things that can cause hemorrhoids, and knowing what they are can help to reduce your odds of having to deal with the discomfort of this anal problem.


Constipation can contribute to the development of hemorrhoids in two ways: as a result of the pressure of unpassed stool on the rectum and anus, as well as due to repeated straining to try to have a bowel movement.


Hemorrhoids are a common condition experienced by pregnant women. Interestingly, it is not just the pressure of the baby on the lower abdomen that contributes to the development of hemorrhoids. The hormonal changes associated with pregnancy can cause the veins in the anus and rectum to become enlarged. Finally, the pressure exerted upon the rectum and anus during childbirth can also result in hemorrhoids.

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Harsh Anal Care

Not all hemorrhoids result in symptoms. However, when the anus is harshly cleaned or rubbed, the veins in the anus can become irritated resulting in bleeding and itching. Using dry toilet paper enhances the risk of the development of hemorrhoids.

Other Factors

There are other factors which contribute to the risk of developing hemorrhoids:

  • Aging
  • Anal intercourse
  • Diarrhea
  • Physical exertion, particularly heavy lifting


Gebbensleben, O., Hilger, Y., & Rohde H. "Aetiology of thrombosed external haemorrhoids: a questionnaire study." BMC Research Notes 2009 2:216.

Greenwald, D. "Common Disorders of the Anus and Rectum: Hemorrhoids and Fissures" American College of Gastroenterology Accessed November 23, 2009.

"Hemorrhoids" National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Accessed November 23, 2009.