An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and in the case of piles (haemorrhoids) no words have ever been truer. Haemorrhoids (piles) are in fact avoidable and taking steps now could save you the agony and also take the pressure off your pelvic floor, because straining and excessive toileting can really strain your pelvic floor muscles.

What causes piles?

The tissue in your rectum is rich in blood vessels. When this tissue is repeatedly stressed, over time the blood vessels become dilated and swollen and the tissue becomes weak. This can be from constipation, being overweight and pregnancy.

What are Piles Symptoms?

Symptoms of piles include a swelling protuberance from the anus which will feel like small fleshy lumps and will look like a bunch of grapes. Rectal bleeding, a mucus discharge and itchy skin around the anus will also tell you there's a problem.

How Can I Stop PIles?

If you want to stop piles, and prevent them coming back prevention is simple. We all know we need to drink 8 glasses of water and eat our 5 a day every day. This will help keep your poo soft and easy for elimination.

Straining to poo will only make matters worse, and it puts a lot of pressure on your pelvic floor too. Take regular breaks when sitting or standing for long periods. Get some exercise! Even a daily 20 minute walk will help circulate the blood and help you lose weight. If you're really straining to poo, there are waterbased lubricants which can help.

Toilet stools, such as the Go Better Toilet Stool, are ideal for helping to ease the pain and discomfort of piles.

Pelvic floor exercises will help keep your rectal muscles taut, toned and free from sagging. It also increases blood circulation in the area thus preventing blood from pooling. Pelvic floor exercises have also been known to aid in rectal prolapse and anal incontinence which are also caused by weak pelvic muscles.

How Can I Exercise my Pelvic Floor?

First we need to identify the muscles we want to target. Squeeze your rectum as if trying to hold back wind or poo. You can also place a lubricated finger inside your rectum and squeeze. If you can feel your rectum clench around your finger, you've found it. Practise contracting and holding for 5 seconds at a time then resting for 6. Do this for about 20 minutes a day.

Kegel8 offers a range of products to help assist in strengthening your rectum. The Kegel8 Ultra 20 electronic pelvic toner offers programmes especially to treat bowel incontinence, which really help to strengthen the muscles towards the rear of the pelvic floor.  If you've already purchased a Kegel8 device, there are interchangeable probes available which can be used to help strengthen your back passage.