Hemorrhoids are very common. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, nearly half of Americans aged 50 and above have hemorrhoids. However, only 5% of the population seek medical help for this ¹
Urine problems are also common among Americans. The American Urological Foundation estimates that about one-quarter to one-third of Americans, both men, and women, suffer from urinary incontinence. Of course, many are afraid or ashamed to seek help for this condition, making it difficult to record the prevalence rate.²
These two conditions are common, especially in people 50 years or older. But can hemorrhoids cause urine problems? This article explains the link between hemorrhoids and urine problems.
We make it easy for you to participate in a clinical trial for Hemorrhoids, and get access to the latest treatments not yet widely available - and be a part of finding a cure.
Hemorrhoids, or piles, are swollen veins in your lower rectum and anus. They form in or around the anus. Sometimes, hemorrhoids can cause pain, itching, discomfort, and rectal bleeding.
About one in 20 Americans have symptomatic hemorrhoids. Risk factors for hemorrhoids include being pregnant, obese, having chronic constipation, and lifting heavy objects regularly.
Hemorrhoids are grouped into three types depending on the location of the swollen vein:
Internal hemorrhoids: This type of hemorrhoid forms inside the anus/rectum. Usually, internal hemorrhoids are not painful, but they may cause bleeding.
External hemorrhoids: This refers to swollen veins forming underneath the skin around the anus. They can be itchy, painful, and sometimes bleed.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids: Both external and internal hemorrhoids can prolapse—stretch and bugle outside the anus. Prolapsed hemorrhoids may bleed or cause pain.
Internal, external, and prolapsed hemorrhoids can cause complications like anemia, skin tags, and infection.
Remedies such as over-the-counter medication and soaking in warm baths can help treat hemorrhoids. However, you may sometimes need professional treatment, including rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, and electrocoagulation.
If you regularly wake up in the middle of the night to urinate or experience the sensation of urinating but can’t, you might have a urinary problem. Urinary problems are widespread, yet patients can be shy to speak up about these problems.
Various urine problems affect people of all ages, both men and women. Here are the most common urine problems.
A urinary tract infection is an infection in any part of your urinary system—kidney, bladder, urethra, or ureter. Although UTIs predominantly affect women, men can also be affected. The infection mostly stems from microbes like bacteria, fungi, or viruses. UTIs become worse and more painful when the infection spreads to the kidneys.
There are three types of UTIs:
Urethritis: an infection of the urethra stemming from the spread of bacteria from your anus to your urethra
Cystitis: this UTI is typically caused by E. coli, a bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract
Pyelonephritis: an infection of the kidneys resulting from an infection that spreads or due to an obstruction in the urinary tract
Furthermore, UTIs can be caused by a weak immune system, diabetes, an enlarged prostate in men, kidney stones, or urinary tract abnormalities.
Strong and frequent urge to urinate
Cloudy or bloody urine
Burning sensation while urinating
Pain in the flanks
Urinary incontinence refers to the involuntary leakage of urine. This occurs when you lose or weaken the control of your urinary sphincter. As a result, you may pass urine when you don't want to.
This urinary problem is more common in women than in men. Smoking and obesity are among the risk factors for urinary incontinence.
The chances of developing urinary incontinence increase with age.
Types of urinary incontinence include:
Stress incontinence: when you exert pressure on your bladder by sneezing, coughing, or lifting a heavy item and urine leaks
Overflow incontinence: constant or frequent dribbling of urine because your bladder doesn't empty completely
Urge incontinence: a sudden, intense urge to pass urine accompanied by an involuntary loss of urine, potentially resulting from an infection, diabetes, or a neurological disorder
Functional incontinence: a mental or physical impairment that prevents you from making it to the bathroom in time
Mixed incontinence: when you experience more than one type of urinary incontinence, such as both stress incontinence and urge incontinence
Reflex incontinence: occurs when your bladder muscle contracts and urine leaks without any urge or warning, common in people with severe neurological impairment from spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and other injuries or damage from radiation treatment or surgery
Treatment for urinary incontinence depends on its cause and includes medications like Imipramine and topical estrogen or medical devices like urethral inserts and sacral nerve stimulators.
Moreover, pelvic floor exercises and behavioral interventions can also help improve symptoms of urinary incontinence.
OAB gives you a sudden and frequent urge to urinate. This urinary condition is common in people 65 and older who find it difficult to control their urination.
Most people with OAB feel embarrassed and often isolate themselves or limit their work and social life. More than 33 million people in the U.S. have overactive bladders.
Moreover, OAB is caused by various factors, including nerve damage, abdominal trauma, infection, extra weight, medications, caffeine, or alcohol.
An overactive bladder doesn't go away on its own. If not treated, the symptoms will worsen. Treatment for OAB includes medications, changing certain behaviors, and nerve stimulation.
There is a close connection between the nerves and muscles that control bladder function and those that control bowel movements. Therefore, hemorrhoids may cause urinary problems like urinary incontinence. But is there a connection between hemorrhoids and urinary problems?
A connection exists between hemorrhoids and urinary problems like an overactive bladder. Both conditions may occur as a result of pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic muscles support and maintain pelvis organs, including the rectum, bladder, and anus.
You may experience an overactive bladder or other urinary problems following surgery for severe hemorrhoids. Moreover, hemorrhoidectomy, a procedure to remove hemorrhoids, may cause urinary retention. This is due to increased fluids during the hemorrhoid removal procedure and the post-surgery pain often experienced.
Hemorrhoidectomy is the most effective hemorrhoid treatment. However, it is linked to many complications, including urinary problems.
Constipation may lead to hemorrhoids. A large amount of stool in the colon puts more pressure on your bladder, preventing it from filling as much as it should. Also, the bladder may contract when it is not supposed to, and/or the situation may cause the bladder not to empty properly.
Both urinary problems and hemorrhoids occur more frequently in women than men.
Many people have urinary problems but are suffering in silence due to fear. Unfortunately, urinary problems won't go away on their own unless you take action.
Luckily, there are numerous ways to deal with urinary problems without anyone knowing. Here are some tips.
A combination of treatment strategies may help relieve overactive bladder symptoms. This includes:
The first approach to controlling an overactive bladder is through behavioral therapies. These therapies are effective and do not have any side effects.
Pelvic floor muscle exercises: Kegel exercises help strengthen your urinary sphincter and pelvic floor muscles, preventing the bladder’s involuntary contractions.
Healthy weight: Weight loss may help with stress urinary incontinence and overactive bladder symptoms.
Intermittent catheterization: For problems emptying your bladder properly, you might find it helpful to use a catheter as part of urinary retention management resulting from an overactive bladder.
Bladder training: Train yourself to delay urinating when you feel the urge by starting with slight delays and gradually working your way up.
Double voiding: This is a technique to ensure that you urinate more than once each time when you are using the bathroom to empty your bladder fully.
Medications that relax the bladder can help relieve symptoms of an overactive bladder. They include:
However, these drugs can cause side effects like dry mouth and eyes.
Botox can be directly injected into the bladder tissue to relax the muscles and relieve OAB symptoms. Temporary effects of Botox last for about six months or more.
However, Botox might cause urinary retention and urinary tract infection.
If you have severe OAB symptoms that do not respond to other treatments, you might be a candidate for surgery. In extreme cases, such procedures include surgery to increase bladder capacity and bladder removal.
Urinary tract infections can be painful. However, you can take steps to ease the discomfort. The first line of treatment for UTIs is antibiotics, but only if the UTI results from a bacterial cause (usually the most common). However, the type of antibiotics and the dosage depends on your health and the type of bacteria in your urine.
Other lifestyle and home remedies include:
Drink plenty of water to dilute urine and flush out bacteria
Use a warm heating pad on your belly to help with discomfort or bladder pressure
Don’t consume drinks that may irritate your bladder, including coffee, caffeinated beverages, or alcohol
Empty your bladder after sex
Hemorrhoids can sometimes be painful. Here’s how to ease the pain and discomfort:
Use topical treatments (over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams or witch hazel wipes)
Oral pain relievers, including aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen
Eat high-fiber foods like whole grains and vegetables
Drink plenty of water to reduce constipation
Soak in a sitz bath
Whether you suffer from urinary problems or hemorrhoids, you should seek medical help if the symptoms don't go away after a couple of weeks, even with home remedies. Also, if you experience extreme pain, seek immediate help.
Hemorrhoids and urinary problems are common among Americans 50 and older. However, most people are afraid to talk about these conditions or seek help. Therefore, they end up isolating themselves and suffering in silence.
Moreover, there is a connection between hemorrhoids and urinary problems. For instance, both conditions are found predominantly in women rather than men.
Hemorrhoids may cause anemia and skin tags. Also, hemorrhoidectomy may cause complications like urinary tract infection, urinary retention, fecal incontinence, and pain.
Use topical treatments, oral pain relievers, or high-fiber foods. Healthcare providers may use rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, and infrared coagulation to treat hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids and other anal disorders | American College of Gastroenterology
What is urinary incontinence? | Urology Care Foundation
Piles and urine infection (2022)
Hemorrhoids | University of California San Francisco Health
Can hemorrhoids cause urinary problems? | Drugs.com
4 common urinary problems and how to treat them | Urology Specialist