Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are enlarged veins in your rectum and anus. For some, they don’t cause symptoms. But for others, they can lead to itching, burning, bleeding, and discomfort, especially when sitting down.

There are two types of hemorrhoids:

  • Internal hemorrhoids develop in your rectum.
  • External hemorrhoids develop around the anal opening, beneath the skin.

Both external and internal hemorrhoids can become thrombosed hemorrhoids. This means that a blood clot forms inside the vein. Thrombosed hemorrhoids aren’t dangerous, but they can cause severe pain and inflammation. If it becomes too full of blood, a hemorrhoid can burst.

Read on to learn more about burst hemorrhoids, including what happens and what you should do.

When a thrombosed hemorrhoid becomes too full of blood, it can burst. This can lead to a brief period of bleeding. Keep in mind that a thrombosed hemorrhoid will usually be very painful before it actually bursts. Once it bursts, you’ll likely feel an instant sense of relief due to the release of extra pressure from built-up blood.

If you have some bleeding but continue to also have pain or discomfort, you likely just have a bleeding hemorrhoid, rather than a burst hemorrhoid.

Learn more about bleeding hemorrhoids and how to handle them.

Bleeding from a burst hemorrhoid can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. However, it shouldn’t last for more than 10 minutes. In some cases, the area may continue to bleed occasionally between bowel movements.

A burst hemorrhoid usually doesn’t require any treatment. But you may want to take a sitz bath to soothe the area and keep it clean while it heals. A sitz bath can also help to increase blood flow to the area, which aids the healing process.

To take a sitz, bath, follow these steps:

  • Fill a clean bathtub with 3 to 4 inches of warm water — make sure it’s not too hot.
  • Soak the area for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Try bending your knees or putting your legs over the edge of the tub to make sure the area’s submerged.
  • Gently pat dry the area with a clean towel, making sure you don’t rub or scrub.

Here’s everything you need to know about taking a sitz bath.

Over the next week, try to keep the area clean and dry. While a shower or bath should be enough, you can also take a daily sitz bath.

Any anal bleeding should be properly evaluated. If you have anal bleeding that lasts for more than 10 minutes, it’s best to see a doctor to make sure that something else isn’t causing your bleeding.

Not all bleeding is due to hemorrhoids, so it’s important to not self-diagnose. Sometimes, bleeding can be symptom of a more serious underlying condition, such as colorectal or anal cancer.

Make sure to tell them if you have any of the following symptoms in addition to bleeding:

  • changes in stool consistency or color
  • changes in bowel movement habits
  • anal pain
  • weight loss
  • nausea or vomiting
  • fever
  • dizziness
  • lightheadedness
  • abdominal pain

Remember, an irritated hemorrhoid can also cause intermittent bleeding over a longer period of time.

The blood from a burst hemorrhoid can look alarming, but it’s usually not serious. However, a hemorrhoid that is filled with blood will be extremely painful leading up to when it bursts. This pain is severe enough that most people seek treatment before the hemorrhoid has a chance to burst.

If you didn’t have any unusual pain leading up to the bleeding, you may have just irritated an inflamed hemorrhoid. If that’s the case, these home remedies can help.