Hemorrhoid Donut Pillows: Everything You Need to Know to Avoid Causing Yourself More Pain

Medically reviewed by: Gary H. Hoffman, MD

Donut pillows are one of the most common tools people consider when trying to figure out how to live with their hemorrhoid symptoms. When you have a literal pain in the backside, sitting down is not likely to be at the top of your to-do list. 

In theory, a pillow with a hole in the middle would prevent you from putting your weight directly on your anal area when you sit down. However, these ring-shaped plastic inflatable or foam-stuffed pillows may do more harm than good. Designed to relieve the pressure on the affected area, their shape can actually exacerbate hemorrhoid pain. 

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To learn more about hemorrhoid care and treatment in Beverly Hills, reach out to Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates today by calling (310) 273-2310. 

Donut Pillows Could Cause Symptoms to Worsen

When you are dealing with hemorrhoids, however, you have to remember that what you may consider a harmless hemorrhoid home treatment could actually be making the problem worse. Ring pillows for hemorrhoids are shaped like a ring or a donut, the very reason so many people believe they help. But the open center leaves nothing to support your anal area — including your hemorrhoids. 

Using a donut pillow is no different than sitting on the toilet for an extended period, another bad idea, and for the same reason. Without support, the whole area can sink into the donut hole. This may lead to an increase in pain, more swelling, and worsening of the condition. 

Many rely on donut-shaped cushions to help relieve their hemorrhoid pain without ever considering that their pillow may be doing more harm than good. There are also many types of hemorrhoid cushions that have additional “features.” This does not make it any better for you when you, as long as it centers around the donut-shaped concept.

If your hemorrhoids are causing you enough discomfort that you believe you need a donut pillow, the best hemorrhoid treatment is only going to be available from a doctor. A colon and rectal surgeon can help you understand your symptoms and determine the nature and severity of the problem. They can rule out more serious concerns, and put a plan in place to help you heal hemorrhoids. 

If you are in Beverly Hills or elsewhere in the Los Angeles area, a physician from Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associate can help. Call our office today at (310) 273-2310. 

Your Donut Pillows May Prevent Your Hemorrhoids From Healing 

Not only can using a hemorrhoid pillow ring cause your pain to increase, but it also could worsen your hemorrhoids. Many people looking for a hemorrhoid cure have made their already-enlarged veins swell and protrude further by using these pillows. They may require more intensive treatment, or their hemorrhoids will take longer to heal.

This is especially true for those with prolapsed hemorrhoids. Anything that does not provide adequate support and promote healing should be avoided. It is not a good idea to sit on a donut pillow with prolapsed hemorrhoids even if you are only using it for relief until you can see a hemorrhoid doctor and receive external hemorrhoid treatment. 

While they may offer temporary relief from the feelings of intense pressure and pain, these pillows can make things much worse in the long run. Our surgeons do not recommend them to our patients because we do not believe the short window of relief is worth requiring additional treatment or healing time.  

Alternative Options for Addressing Pain When Sitting

Prolonged sitting worsens hemorrhoids and can increase pain. When you sit, your body weight and posture put pressure on your anal area, and your hemorrhoids will swell. The longer you sit, the more they swell. This is why we tell our patients to stand up and move around as much as possible. 

Just a couple of minutes of walking will help with blood flow to the inflamed tissues and reduce the swelling. For some people, this is not what they want to hear. Truck drivers and office workers with hemorrhoids have a hard time getting up and taking a walk several times an hour.

Instead of sitting on a donut, focusing on alternative hemorrhoid treatment, and hoping they will go away, you should consider:

  • Seeing a colon and rectal surgeon for a confirmed diagnosis and advice
  • Using a warm sitz bath several times a day
  • Considering over-the-counter options such as witch hazel pads if approved by your doctor
  • Taking a day or two off work, so you do not have to endure sitting when they are at their worst

Some donut pillow manufacturers have gotten wise to the problem with these cushions and started making foam pillows to sit on that provide all-over support. While these are unlikely to do you any harm and are a better alternative to the hemorrhoid ring pillow, they are also expensive and unnecessary. Sitting and leaning back in a recumbent position on your couch or bed provides the same experience of pressure relief.

You May Need to See a Hemorrhoid Doctor to Address Your Symptoms and Get an Accurate Diagnosis 

If you are experiencing enough discomfort and pain that you cannot comfortably sit down, it is time to make an appointment with an experienced physician to get a better understanding of your condition. You may require medical hemorrhoid treatment such as an in-office procedure or surgery to help your body heal. 

If you are in the Los Angeles area, reach out to the Beverly Hills office of Los Angeles Colon and Rectal Surgical Associates. Our surgeons are leaders in state-of-the-art hemorrhoid treatment and post-operative care. 

Call (310) 273-2310 to request an appointment or a call back from one of our physicians.

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