Hemorrhoids Perineum Pictures - Do You Have Hemorrhoids or a Perineum Issue?
Posted on 30 July 2018 by Maryanne Johnson
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Do you want to find out if you have hemorrhoids or perineum issues? If something doesn't feel quite right in your rectal or genital region, then you might be wondering what your condition could possibly be. Could it be swollen perineum or hemorrhoids? First, let's begin by defining what the perineum area actually is.
The perineum is described as the area between the scrotum and the anus in men, and for women, it is the space between the anus and the vulva. Many people do not think that this area serves any particular function or purpose, but it does. So, why is this area important?
The perineum is located beneath a sheet of important muscles called the pelvic floor muscles. This group of muscles helps support the bowels and bladder, and for women, the womb.
The pelvic floor muscles are essential in controlling these organ’s functions as well as the sexual organs.
This space between the genitalia and the anus also contains essential blood vessels and nerves. The perineum's vessels are crucial in the blood supply to the genitals and the urinary tract.
This area can become swollen for multiple different reasons. The most common are:
- Perineal surgery
- Straddle injuries
- Sexual abuse
Bike riding frequently and for long periods of time and constipation are also two factors that can contribute to swollen perineum. The pressure and friction of a narrow and hard bike seat can irritate the sensitive nerve endings and cause damage to the blood vessels in the perineum.
Constipation causes forceful pressure during a painful bowel movement, and this can damage the delicate perineum area and its sensitive blood vessels and nerves. The perineum is squeezed if a person needs to strain to pass stools, and this can result in swelling or injury.
What is a Hemorrhoid?
You have probably heard the term "hemorrhoids," or "piles" as a reference to an aching anal area, but maybe you aren't sure exactly what this common disease is. Hemorrhoids are anal protrusions, located in the anal canal and lowest part of the rectum.
These symptomatic prominences in the anal cushion contain sensitive connective tissues, venous vessels, arteries, and smooth rectal muscles. Hemorrhoids are divided into two separate categories based upon their location in the anorectal area.
External hemorrhoids lie outside the anus or directly on it. This type of hemorrhoid is visible and can be felt. External hemorrhoids are painful lumps; they feel slightly rubbery and are tender and sore, especially when trying to use the bathroom or remaining in one position for too long.
People with external hemorrhoids often feel limited in their ability to move around or perform normal daily activities because of the tenderness in their rectal area. Bowel movements become much more difficult, especially when wiping afterward.
Internal hemorrhoids are the less painful of the two types of hemorrhoids. This type of hemorrhoid can neither be seen nor felt. Often, the only indication of their presence is painless rectal bleeding, where you may spot brightly colored blood on your stools or while wiping.
Similar to perineum swelling, hemorrhoids are often a result of straining. The blood supply to rectal veins, venous vessels, rectal muscles, and arteries becomes distorted, and thus, hemorrhoids form.
Straining can arise from constipation, heavy lifting, or from being overweight.
People likely to develop hemorrhoids are those in their fifties or older. Pregnant women have also an increased risk in developing either type of hemorrhoids because of the uterus pressing on the sensitive parts of the rectum, disrupting the blood supply, resulting in this inflammation.
What is the Difference Between a Swollen Perineum and Hemorrhoids?
Although the perineum area is similar to where hemorrhoids form, there are many differences in which you can determine if your condition is perineum swelling or a case of external hemorrhoids.
The location of the problematic area is going to be the clue in deciding if what you have is swollen perineum or hemorrhoids. The perineum swells between the anus and the sex organs, and if you have damage or an injury to this area, it is likely that the entire floor of the muscle will swell.
Alternatively, hemorrhoids develop close to the anus. This condition is noticeably very different from swollen perineum, and you will know right away if you are experiencing external hemorrhoids.
Aside from location, there are a few other fundamental differences that will allow you to decipher between the two conditions.
The swollen perineum is going to appear much different than external hemorrhoids visibly.
External hemorrhoids are in the form of swollen sacs that are clustered around the anus. These sacs can be red in color, flesh-colored, or when there is a blood clot present, purplish, but these hemorrhoids are sharp protrusions.
Hemorrhoids are symptomatic and produce a number of noticeable side effects.
Unlike swollen perineum, which may be painful, hemorrhoids have been known to cause:
- A sensation of throbbing or blistering near the rectum
- Stool or mucous discharge from the anus
- Obtrusions surrounding the rectum
- Itchiness and burning.
- Feeling discomfort while moving
- Having trouble and difficulty during bowel movements
If something doesn't feel right "down there," think about what other symptoms you may have. A perineal injury, or swollen perineum, will typically result in a feeling of throbbing pain, causing discomfort during movement and a few other activities.
Hemorrhoids also cause pain and discomfort, but you should be able to tell if what you have is a hemorrhoid due to the number of other symptoms that are commonly associated with them.
Rectal veins, tissues, muscles, and the perineum area are essential in supplying blood to the rectum and ensuring that all of these organs function correctly. If you aren't confident as to whether you have swollen perineum or hemorrhoids, the best way to proceed is with a hemorrhoid doctor, proctologist or gastroenterologist.
How Do I Know If I Have a Injured Perineum or Hemorrhoids?
If you aren’t sure, your doctor will know, going by either a description of your symptoms or by completing a visual examination. Your doctor is extremely versed in analyzing anorectal problems, even if he or she is not a gastroenterologist.
In a visual examination, your doctor will study the perineum area to see if your symptoms are in line with a perineal injury. Your doctor may ask you to place your feet in stirrups so he or she can view the area clearly.
For examining perineal injuries, your doctor might consider imaging tests to check for any internal injuries to this area.
Pain in the perineal area or swelling could indicate that there is another issue at hand. Perineal injuries are more common for males, especially for men who have had surgery in the perineal area, and also for those who are constipated, and for men who frequently ride bikes or motorcycles for sport or their job.
You may have a perineal injury instead of hemorrhoids if you:
- Are a farmworker or a construction worker and experience an impalement injury
- Ride horses, motorcycles, or bicycles frequently, suffering a straddle injury
- Are in the military and combat or training has caused an impalement injury.
Hemorrhoids are examined similarly—visually. Hemorrhoids are the most common anorectal and gastrointestinal disorders that send 3 million Americans to their doctors' offices.
A digital examination can also be executed to check to see if the patient has hemorrhoids. The doctor takes a gloved, lubricated finger and inserts it into the rectum to test and feel for swelling.
In most cases, doctors will be able to conclude swiftly if the patient has hemorrhoids. Doctors weigh the surrounding factors, like age, bathroom habits, diet, and weight into consideration when separating the possibilities of various rectal and bowel conditions.
People with these factors are more likely to experience hemorrhoids:
- Are around the age of 45 or older
- Are overweight or obese
- Are pregnant or have just delivered
- Have a poor diet
- Have chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Have other gastrointestinal disorders
- Sit or stand for long periods
- Lift heavy objects
It is crucial to keep in mind to not try to diagnose yourself between these two common anorectal conditions, although it can be tempting to avoid talking to your doctor about what are considered to be embarrassing conditions.
Getting the right help and treatment in place will speed up your recovery while you also work on methods of prevention.