Hemorrhoids are masses of swollen tissue and varicose veins located in the anus and rectum, causing itching, pain, and bleeding. The veins around the anus or lower rectum may become swollen or inflamed from straining during a bowel movement, pregnancy, aging, chronic constipation, diarrhea, or anal intercourse. Hemorrhoids can be either internal (inside and above the anus) or external (under the skin around the anus), and are grouped into 4 classes based on the degree of severity. Symptoms may include blood in the stool, painful swelling, or lumps around the anus caused by clotting blood. Fortunately, the condition is easily treated and can also be prevented. Hemorrhoids tend to worsen with time, so as soon as the condition is detected, safe, gentle, and effective treatment methods are recommended. Approximately 89% of Americans will have a bout with hemorrhoids at some point in their life.