Supporting customers with haemorrhoids

Learn how to help customers ease the discomfort of haemorrhoids with suitable recommendations and self-care advice


  • Understand the causes and symptoms of haemorrhoids
  • Better understand your customers' needs when they are asking for advice
  • Be able to recommend a suitable product and provide appropriate self-care advice
  • Know when customers should be referred to their GP

Haemorrhoids (also known as piles) are swollen or enlarged blood vessels, which can cause discomfort, itching and irritation, particularly after a bowel movement. They may be either internal (inside the anus) or external (outside the anus).1 It is possible to have both internal and external piles at the same time.2


Haemorrhoids may be caused by too much straining on the toilet, due to prolonged constipation; this is often due to a lack of dietary fibre. Chronic, or long-term, diarrhoea can also make people more vulnerable to getting piles.

Other factors that may increase risk include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Getting older
  • Pregnancy
  • Family history of haemorrhoids
  • Regularly lifting heavy objects
  • A persistent cough or repeated vomiting
  • Sitting down for long periods of time

Symptoms include:

  • Bleeding after a bowel movement - the blood is usually bright red
  • An itchy bottom (anus)
  • A lump hanging down outside of the anus, which may need to be pushed back in after a bowel movement
  • Still feeling the need to go to the toilet after a bowel movement
  • Mucus discharge after a bowel movement
  • Soreness, redness and swelling around the anus
Product information is available at the end of the module.

Content developed by Bayer working with CIG Healthcare Partnership.
© 2021 CIG Healthcare Partnership

Date of preparation: September 2021