How long can hemorrhoids last?

Most mild internal hemorrhoids resolve on their own within a few days but may take up to a week. On the other hand, larger hemorrhoids will last up to 2-3 weeks, and since they’re more prone to complications, they might not resolve on their own, and you’ll need to visit a doctor.

The duration of hemorrhoids can vary from person to person and depends on several factors, including the severity of the condition, treatment received, and individual healing response. In general, hemorrhoids may resolve on their own within a few days to a couple of weeks. However, some cases of hemorrhoids can persist for longer periods or recur intermittently.

Milder cases of hemorrhoids, such as those associated with temporary irritation or minor swelling, may resolve relatively quickly with self-care measures. These measures may include:

  • Maintaining good hygiene by keeping the anal area clean.
  • Applying over-the-counter creams or ointments that contain hydrocortisone or witch hazel to reduce itching and inflammation.
  • Using warm sitz baths or applying warm compresses to the affected area to alleviate discomfort.
  • Increasing dietary fiber intake and fluid consumption to soften stools and prevent constipation.

If hemorrhoids do not improve or if symptoms worsen despite self-care measures, it is advisable to seek medical attention. A healthcare professional can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options based on the severity and duration of the condition.

In some cases, more persistent or severe hemorrhoids may require medical intervention. Treatment options may include:

  • In-office procedures, such as rubber band ligation or sclerotherapy, which aim to cut off blood flow to the hemorrhoids or shrink them.
  • Minimally invasive procedures, such as infrared coagulation or laser treatment, which can be done on an outpatient basis.
  • Surgical removal of hemorrhoids (hemorrhoidectomy) in severe or recurring cases.
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It’s important to note that recurrence of hemorrhoids is possible, especially if underlying factors such as chronic constipation or straining during bowel movements are not addressed. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, including maintaining a high-fiber diet, staying hydrated, avoiding prolonged sitting or straining, and practicing good bowel habits, can help prevent the recurrence of hemorrhoids.

If you have concerns about your hemorrhoids or if they are causing persistent symptoms or discomfort, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for an evaluation and appropriate management.