Cycling and Hemorrhoids: Understanding the Connection

Author: Kier

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The diversity of cycling is one of the most appealing aspects of this activity. Some people cycle for recreational fun while others do it to get from A to B. Many cyclists use it to get an excellent workout and then there are the elite that do it competitively.

Whatever your reason for cycling is, avoiding injury is essential. Some injuries that can hamper your cycling ability are fairly commonplace and involve overworked or stiff muscles. Others are a little more sensitive and can cause some embarrassment.

This article will explore whether cycling causes hemorrhoids. We will look at what the condition is and its causes, as well as provide tips for dealing with and preventing them.

Key Takeaways

  • Cycling does not cause haemorrhoids.
  • Try to avoid cycling if you are suffering from hemorrhoids.
  • Implement a high-fiber diet to prevent haemorrhoids.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent haemorrhoids.
  • Speak to a doctor if haemorrhoids do not ease off after 7 days.

What Are Hemorrhoids?

Nobody wants to talk about pesky hemorrhoids, but they are more common than you may think. In fact, around 1 in 20 Americans and 50% over the age of 50 suffer from hemorrhoids in the U.S. according to the National Institutes of Health.

Hemorrhoids are swollen or inflamed rectal veins around the anus and lower rectum. Hemorrhoids are also known as piles and the most common types of hemorrhoids include:

Internal hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids are typically found within the rectum and don’t cause too much discomfort. Irritation when passing stools can damage the hemorrhoid tissue and lead to bleeding.

External hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids are located beneath the skin around the anus. It is possible that an external hemorrhoid can become painful or itchy.

Thrombosed hemorrhoids

Thrombosed hemorrhoids are a result of pooled blood in external hemorrhoids. They form blood clots that can feel like hard lumps. They can often become inflamed and painful.

Piles typically begin in the anal canal and are graded in terms of whether they protrude from the anus and cause discomfort.

  • First-degree hemorrhoids do not come out of the anus but can bleed.
  • Second-degree hemorrhoids can come out of the anus during bowel movements but go back in without intervention.
  • Third-degree hemorrhoids come out of the anus and can be physically pushed back in.
  • Fourth-degree hemorrhoids can’t be pushed back inside the anus and can become inflamed and painful when blood clots within them.

This might not make for comfortable reading but understanding hemorrhoids can make it easier to treat.

A bunch of cyclists are pedaling uphill on a tree-lined road, making their way to a stone archway up ahead.


I am not a certified health professional. The tips and information provided in this article are based on personal experience and research. Please consult with a healthcare provider for professional advice.

Can Cycling Cause Hemorrhoids?

Many people think that the pressure placed on the posterior region while cycling can cause hemorrhoids. The truth is, cycling does not cause hemorrhoids.

While cycling doesn’t cause them, a bicycle ride can aggravate hemorrhoids because of the increased pressure around the anal region caused by bike seats.

How to Prevent Hemorrhoids While Cycling

While hemorrhoids aren’t directly caused by cycling, there are some ways that you can minimize risks.

Strenuous exercise can create extra pressure that results in swollen veins. Good technique and building the right muscles will help you avoid straining too heavily in the wrong areas.

Your bike setup will be an important part of your form. Ensuring you have a slight bend at the knee when at the bottom of the pedal cycle will ensure the right muscles are engaged.

What to do if You Experience Hemorrhoids While Cycling

If possible, try to avoid cycling if you are suffering from hemorrhoids. Cycling can make the affected area uncomfortable.

Padded shorts can help to make it more comfortable and minimize the risk of the area being aggravated by the seat, which can result in inflamed hemorrhoids.

A comfortable bike seat will stop you from putting pressure on sensitive areas when riding a bike. Exploring the best bike seats will improve comfort and help with performance.

Try not to irritate hemorrhoids by cycling too vigorously. If possible try to keep a slow, steady motion without putting too much pressure on the area.

Treating hemorrhoids is relatively straightforward. You should try to improve your diet and drink plenty of fluids.

When wiping, use damp toilet paper to avoid irritating the area. A warm bath can help to ease pain and itching in some cases.

Over-the-counter creams or suppositories will also help hemorrhoids heal quickly.

Other Factors that can Contribute to Hemorrhoids

The main causes of hemorrhoids include:

Straining when using the bathroom

Issues with using the bathroom can result in piles. This can include persistent diarrhea or constipation. Straining for long periods can cause veins in the anal canal to swell.

Straining with heavy objects

Lifting heavy objects with poor technique can also put additional pressure on the veins in the anal canal.

Persistent coughs

Swelling in veins in the anal passage can be caused by intense pressure. This can happen with persistent coughing or sneezing.


The anal canal will naturally weaken with age making it more likely for hemorrhoids to occur.


Hemorrhoids are more likely during pregnancy. This can be attributed to greater abdomen pressure and body changes.

Poor diet

A poor diet can impact your bowel movements significantly. Low-fiber diets are especially poor for colon health.

So, there's this person chillin' in a black shirt, munching on a meal with all sorts of goodies like curry and veggies, plus a drink. They're outside at some dining spot with other folks scattered around at nearby tables.

Tips for Maintaining Good Overall Colon Health

Good colon health will help to prevent hemorrhoid symptoms from occurring. The best way to do this is by following these tips:

Eat a healthy diet

Eating a healthier diet with whole grains, vegetables, and fruit will help to soften your stool and make it easier to pass without straining.

High-fiber diets are advised and fiber supplements can be beneficial when used correctly.

Drink plenty of fluids

Staying hydrated is essential to your overall health. It will also help to stop stools from drying out.

Don’t strain when passing stools

Straining when passing stools puts pressure on your lower rectum veins and can lead to hemorrhoids. Taking your time and speaking with a health professional if you are suffering from constipation is advised.

Use the bathroom when you feel the urge

Using the bathroom when the urge to pass a stool comes on is advised. It will typically be easier and waiting can lead to it drying out and being hard to pass.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise will improve overall health and can help you lose excess weight. This will help with constipation and pressure caused by sitting.

Don’t sit for long periods

Sitting for too long can cause additional pressure. Try to get up and walk about every so often rather than sitting for hours. This will also help with blood flow.


When should I speak to the doctor about hemorrhoids?

If your hemorrhoid symptoms do not show signs of improvement after seven days or you notice negative changes you should speak with a health professional.

Can riding a bike make hemorrhoids worse?

Riding a bike does not cause hemorrhoids but it can make existing hemorrhoids flare up. This can lead to inflammation, itching, and pain.

What type of cycling is worst for hemorrhoids?

Strenuous activity and moving about a lot on your seat can aggravate such conditions. Because of this, competitive cycling and mountain biking are most likely to cause further issues.

Mountain biking typically consists of traveling over uneven and rough terrain. This means you will bump up and down and be forced to make evasive maneuvers.

Can I cycle with internal hemorrhoids?

If your hemorrhoids are internal it is possible to gently cycle without causing aggravation to the area.

You should be careful not to worsen the condition and avoiding cycling until you have recovered is advised.

Photo of author


Kier focuses on improving all things bike, and is always looking to take his ability to a new average (hopefully a higher one!). When not on the bike Kier is normally downing coffee and cake.
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