An anal fissure is a small tear just inside (or outside) the anus.

A hemorrhoid (also referred to as piles) is a swollen vein in the lowest part of your rectum and anus. Hemorrhoids bulge and get irritated when the walls of the blood vessels in the anus are stretched. This stretching is common during a bowel movement.


A key difference is that the bleeding from a hemorrhoid comes about because of the swelling in the veins as they get stretched.

Where as bleeding from an anal fissure is because of a tear in the anal passage.

How To Know What You Have

It's common for people that experience bleeding after a bowel movement to be confused over whether they have a fissure or a hemorrhoid.

The only way to know for certain is to have an examination from a qualified medical professional, e.g. a Physician or a Surgeon.

If you're too embarrassed to see a Physician you could ask a partner to take a photograph and then compare this to images in Google (or your preferred search engine).

Why The Pain?

Both conditions are extremely painful because the anus has hundreds of nerve endings.

There are two kinds of hemorrhoids: internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids occur within the rectum. There are fewer nerve endings inside of the rectum and so they generally don't hurt or cause pain.

External hemorrhoids on the other hand can be extremely painful because they occur in the skin around the anus. A prolapsed hemorrhoid can bulge outside of the anal sphincter. These can be pushed back inside on their own. Often a prolapsed hemorrhoid is pink, purple or blue in color.

Cause Of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are caused by pressure in the lower rectum. This can occur because of pregnancy, obesity, lifting a heavy object, or straining during a bowel movement.  Each of these factors weakens the tissue around the anus. This in turn causes the skin to blow up, similar to a tiny ballon, as it fills up with blood.

Treatments for hemorrhoids are available from a Pharmacy.

What If I Have A Fissure?

If you know for certain that you have a fissure then read on.

This site will help you to make a full recovery from your anal fissure.