My father had problems with hemorrhoids too

Photo of a man hiking
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Richard, 62 years old

“I had problems riding my bike and sitting down. I had to be particularly careful when doing sports because even the slightest bit of tension or pressure would make the hemorrhoids bleed. That was always really unpleasant. I had mucus discharge and itching too.”

I was 18 years old the first time I had problems with . I treated them with creams, and they were gone after about a week.

But the problem returned a few years later. The pain was sometimes so bad that I could hardly sit down any more, and going to the toilet was really unpleasant. I also had blood in my stool and on my underwear.

Then I had my first operation. Things were done differently back then. I had to spend about four weeks in the hospital. It wasn’t much fun. I didn’t have any problems with for a few years after that, though.

The problem got worse over time

But then they came back again after a while. The started coming out when I went to the toilet. I would then try to push them back in again. I couldn’t have left the house otherwise. I had problems riding my bike and sitting down. I had to be particularly careful when doing sports because even the slightest bit of tension or pressure would make the bleed. That was always really unpleasant. I had mucus discharge and itching too. Things were like that for a couple of years. Sometimes they got better, sometimes they got worse.

The problem got worse over time. I had burning, itching, bleeding and discharge. It really affected my quality of life. I didn’t go to the doctor for a long time because I thought the would only come back again anyway, whatever we did. During that time I found that creams, warm baths and putting my legs up helped.

Back then I had bleeding nearly every time I went to the toilet. My wife tried to persuade me to go to the doctor. At one point I saw myself in the mirror and realized how big the had become. I realized it was high time I got treatment. That was what made me decide to have another operation.

I had surgery as a day procedure

I then had surgery as a day procedure: The doctor cauterized the hemorrhoid and put a rubber band around the base of it. That wasn’t too pleasant. But this operation was quite different from my first operation. I’ve felt better ever since then, and don’t have many problems now. I really enjoy being able to ride my bike and play tennis again.

But I had problems with my digestion after the operation. It took a few weeks for my bowel movements to return to normal. I also felt pressure and pain, but the doctors sorted that out pretty quickly. I took painkillers when I needed to.

Hemorrhoids tend to run in my family

I guess my family has weak connective tissue. My father also had big problems with , especially when he got older. But he never had them treated. My mother had a lot of varicose veins.

I should’ve gone to the doctor a lot sooner. But that’s what men are like – we try to put up with pain for as long as possible before getting treatment. That area is a private part of your body, not the kind of thing you want to talk about. Lots of people are probably hesitant or scared of what the examinations might involve. I didn’t have a problem with that. It was okay.

I changed my diet

I take care not to strain too much when I go to the toilet, and I try to eat the right things to make sure my stool isn’t too hard. My diet is slightly different now. I eat more fiber, such as oat bran and whole grain products, drink a lot of water, and get a lot of exercise.

At the time I never worried about the blood being a sign of cancer or anything. But I work in a medical field and think I was in a good position to judge things. If I hadn’t had the knowledge I had, I would’ve gone to the doctor a lot sooner. Instead, I just struggled on for a long time, in the hope that my would get better on their own again. That was silly, of course – they don’t just go away again on their own.

When I look back now, I know I shouldn’t have waited so long before getting treatment. I think it’s important to get all the information you need from doctors and other sources.

Acknowledgment

Our real-life stories summarize interviews with people who are affected by the medical condition. Our interview partners have given us permission to publish their stories. We would like to express our sincere thanks to them.

The real-life stories give an insight into how other people cope and live with a medical condition. Their opinions and comments are not recommendations by IQWiG.

Please note: The names of our interview partners have been changed to protect their identity. The photos are of models.

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Created on January 29, 2014
Next planned update: 2021

Authors/Publishers:

Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany)

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