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Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal. This common problem can be painful, but it's usually not serious.
Too much pressure on the veins in the pelvic and rectal area causes hemorrhoids. Diarrhea or constipation also may lead to straining and can increase pressure on veins in the anal canal.
Pregnant women can get hemorrhoids due to increased pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvic area. Being overweight can also lead to hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids can get irritated and clot under the skin, causing a hard painful lump. This is called a thrombosed, or clotted, hemorrhoid. With internal hemorrhoids, you may see bright red streaks of blood on toilet paper or bright red blood in the toilet bowl after a normal bowel movement.