Haemorrhoids or "piles" are swellings containing enlarged blood vessels inside or around the bottom (the rectum and anus)

Haemorrhoids are very common. About 75% of people will have haemorrhoids at some point in their life.

In many cases, haemorrhoids don't cause any symptoms.

Symptoms include:

  • Bleeding after passing stool
  • Itchy bottom
  • Lump around anus which may need to be pushed back in after passing a stool
  • Soreness, redness and swelling around anus

Click for information about treatment for haemorrhoids

Click for information about treatment for haemorrhoids


This is a tear in the lining of the anal canal and can cause severe pain especially when passing stool.

Anal fissures are usually caused by constipation and straining. It is common in young and middle-aged adults.

Treatment includes warm baths, stool softeners and simple pain relief. Your specialist can also prescribe medication to help relieve symptoms and speed up healing process.

Surgery is only performed in very persistent cases where self-help measures and medicine have not helped.



Small tract/ tunnel that develops between the end of the bowel and the skin near the anus.

Anal fistula are usually the result of an infection or abscess near the anus. When the pus drains away, it can leave a small channel behind.

Symptoms include skin irritation, pain, smelly discharge from near the anus, passing pus or blood when passing stool, swelling and redness around anus and difficulty controlling bowel movements or incontinence.

Treatment usually involves surgery by a colorectal specialists as the rarely heal if left untreated.