Inferior rectal veins
The hemorrhoidal plexus is a group of veins that surrounds the rectum. It has two parts, internal and external. The inferior rectal veins are located in the external hemorrhoidal plexus. They are surrounded by loose connective tissue, so they do not get much support or constraint from the body. They are therefore less able to resist blood pressure. A varicosity of the inferior rectal veins is known as a hemorrhoid. The symptoms are swelling, irritation, and pain. They may protrude through the anus. Hemorrhoids often bleed, leaving bright red blood on the feces or toilet paper. Problems in the inferior rectal veins may be caused by obesity, sitting for long periods, and a low fiber diet. These varicosities in the inferior rectal veins generally go away by themselves within a few days. Various medications are available that provide topical pain relief, but they do nothing for the cause of the varicosity. Doctors often prescribe high fiber diets and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgery is used in particularly severe cases. To avoid undue pressure on the inferior rectal veins, empty bowels soon after an urge.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: Inferior rectal veins