A hemorrhoid is a swollen blood vessel in the anus or rectum, similar to a varicose vein. These bumps can be painful and itchy and appear as clumps of tissue in the anal canal.
Mild bleeding during bowl movements is common with hemorrhoids, in fact, any person can experience them. However, hemorrhoids are most common in pregnant women, and individuals over the age of 45. Since the hemorrhoids are located around the anal area, bleeding is bright red in color.
Approximately 10 percent of people affected by hemorrhoids will need surgery to relieve them. For most people, over the counter hemorrhoids ointments and minor changes in diet can relieve the problem.