Can Bike Riding Cause Hemorrhoids?

Every sport has its own set of discomforts; that you need to keep in mind, to take care of your health. For example, in cycling, the seat of a bicycle can become uncomfortable and cause saddle sores. But can cycling cause hemorrhoids?

According to medical experts, there is no scientific study that shows a connection between cycling and hemorrhoids. However, it can have negative effects on a pre-existing hemorrhoid condition.

If you like riding a bicycle and are wondering whether or not cycling causes hemorrhoids, then continue reading. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this topic. It’ll help you understand what hemorrhoids are and how they’re connected to cycling.

What Is a Hemorrhoid Exactly?

A hemorrhoid is a medical condition where the veins in the patient’s lower rectum and anus become swollen. The following are the three different types of hemorrhoids that a person can experience.

What are hemorrhoids?

Internal Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids occur when the veins inside the patient’s rectum, the end of the digestive system holding waste, become swollen.

People suffering from this type of hemorrhoid can experience some discomfort and pain, but they don’t usually notice this condition until the blood starts coming out with stools.

External Hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids occur in or around your anus with the same symptoms. This type of hemorrhoid causes irritation and discomfort and the patient can also experience itching, pain, and bleeding.

Thrombosed Hemorrhoids

It’s the worst type of hemorrhoid and it happens when the blood starts to clot inside existing external or internal hemorrhoids. In external thrombosed hemorrhoids, the patient feels a hard and swollen lump around the anus, which can be extremely painful. They can also break and start to bleed.

Internal thrombosed hemorrhoids usually bleed more than external hemorrhoids. That’s because the veins in this type of hemorrhoid are more swollen and can get damaged easily.

Disclaimer: This post does not provide any medical advice. All the information, including images, graphics, and text, in this post, are for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be used as an alternative to professional medical treatment, diagnosis, or advice. If you have any medical condition, you must seek the advice of a professional and licensed health care provider.

What Does It Have to Do with Cycling?

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, hemorrhoids are common in both men and women and 1 in every 20 people suffer from this medical condition. The common occurrence of hemorrhoids also means that many cyclists also fall victim to this medical condition and wonder, does cycling cause hemorrhoids.

This condition can take place for several reasons, but cycling isn’t one of them. The common causes of hemorrhoids include constipation, constant diarrhea, heavy weightlifting, low fiber diet, obesity, childbirth, pregnancy, sitting on the toilet for extended periods, and pushing or straining too hard while on the toilet.

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Can Bike Riding Cause Hemorrhoids?

two women cycling on bike path

If you’re a cyclist and wonder, does cycling cause hemorrhoids, the answer is NO. There is no scientific study that shows the connection between cycling and hemorrhoids.

Although cycling can lead to some health problems, such as lower back pain and genital numbness, hemorrhoids aren’t one of them. So, you can ride your bike freely without worrying about this medical condition if you’re not suffering from it already.

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Can Cycling Make Hemorrhoids Worse?

Yes, cycling can make hemorrhoids worse. Riding a bike while suffering from this health condition will restrict the blood flow to the anus. It’ll also put pressure on the already damaged tissues leading to more swelling and pain in the affected area.

Additionally, cycling can also cause both external and internal bleeding due to added stress and friction. That’s why most people take a break and refrain from cycling until their hemorrhoids are healed.

Keep in mind that suffering from hemorrhoids certainly doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to ride the bike again.

You’ll only need to wait for a few days or at most a couple of weeks to allow this problem to heal as fast as possible. If you continue riding the bike, you’ll need to wait for a long time to get rid of this medical condition.

Is it Advisable to Bike with Hemorrhoids?

man with hemorrhoid pain

No, it’s not advisable to bike with hemorrhoids because they can make the condition worse. They can increase bleeding, damage the swollen veins and tissues, and cause more pain and discomfort.

However, if you really need to ride a bike with this medical condition, you can use the tips listed below. They’ll help you manage the hemorrhoid symptoms and ride the bike without making the condition worse.

  • Replace your bike’s saddle with the one that comes with extra soft padding. It’ll make you feel comfortable, prevent irritation, and keep your hemorrhoid symptoms from getting worse.
  • Take a short brisk walk before starting your ride. It’ll improve the blood circulation in your legs to prevent further swelling and pain.
  • Apply a soothing ointment or cream, prescribed by your doctor, to get rid of discomfort and itchiness before getting on the bike.
  • Install a water bottle holder on your bike if it doesn’t already have one to ensure there’s plenty of water available for your ride. It’ll allow you to stay hydrated, which is extremely important while suffering from hemorrhoids.
  • Wear cycling shorts for additional padding before starting the ride.

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Recommended Treatment and Prevention for Hemorrhoids

If you’re suffering from hemorrhoids, the first thing that you should do is visit the doctor as soon as possible. A qualified and experienced health care provider will offer expert advice to help you treat this medical condition.

Additionally, you can also follow the tips listed below for hemorrhoid treatment and prevention purposes.

Improve Your Diet

Making a few changes in your daily diet plan can go a long way in treating and preventing hemorrhoids. You should include fiber-rich food, such as legumes, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, in your daily diet.

good diet

They’ll regulate your digestive system, improve bowel movements, and boost your internal health. It’s important to note that not eating fibrous food can lead to constipation, which is one of the most common causes of hemorrhoids.

Eating fibrous food not only will help you treat the problem but can also prevent it from occurring in the future.

If you don’t like to eat fiber-rich food, you can also consult with your doctor about taking fiber supplements. They’ll increase your fiber intake similarly to the food options mentioned above to improve your bowel movements and soften stools to treat and prevent hemorrhoids.

Increase Your Water Intake

lady drinking water

Drinking plenty of water during the day is important to treat and prevent hemorrhoids. It’ll stimulate your bowel movements and soften stool. Also, it can also help the fiber work better.

According to the Mayo Clinic, an adult male should drink 3.7 liters of water a day and the recommended water intake for an adult female is 2.7 liters.

Exercise Daily

Exercise makes you more energetic, active and improves your digestive health. It improves blood circulation in the body, regulates bowel movements, and strengthens muscles, which can minimize hemorrhoid symptoms.

man and woman exercising in the park

Additionally, exercise can also help you maintain healthy body weight and prevent obesity, which is also one of the leading causes of hemorrhoids.

Avoid Holding it In

Always comply when your body wants you to go to the toilet and never hold it in. The longer you take to use the toilet the harder and dryer it’ll become. As a result, it’ll put more pressure on your anal tissues and veins.

Going to the toilet as soon as you feel like will make it easy to pass. It’ll also prevent discomfort and ensure smooth bowel movements.

Never Strain

While you can push a little when using the toilet, you should never strain. It’ll increase the pressure on your anal tissues and veins which can worsen the condition. If pushing a little doesn’t work, don’t try to force it out.

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There’s no scientific study that shows the connection between cycling and hemorrhoids. So, it’s safe to say that cycling doesn’t cause this medical condition. 

However, riding a bike can certainly make hemorrhoids worse. Therefore, you should avoid cycling if you have this problem.

If you really need to ride a bike with hemorrhoids, make sure that you use the tips listed above to make the riding experience more comfortable. Additionally, visit your doctor as soon as possible if you feel you have hemorrhoids. You can also follow the treatment and prevention recommendations discussed in this guide to deal with this problem.