How are hemorrhoids diagnosed?

A diagnosis of a hemorrhoidal problem begins with a visit to your doctor. The doctor will ask about your symptoms and perform a physical examination of the anal area.

During an anal examination, the doctor will:

  • Look at skin around the anus;
  • Do a digital rectal examination, in which a gloved, lubricated finger is gently inserted into the anus; and
  • Check the inside of the anal canal—where the internal hemorrhoids are located—with a short lighted probe called an anoscope.

In some cases you may need another, more extensive exam, like a colonoscopy, to make sure your symptoms are not due to any other disease in your colon or rectum.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/18/2016.


  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Hemorrhoids. Accessed 6/25/2020.
  • American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Hemorrhoids. Accessed 5/18/2016.
  • American Academy of Family Physicians. Hemorrhoids. Accessed 5/18/2016.

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