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What Are the Different Causes of Rectal Pain?

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  • Written By: Alex Tree
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2018
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Some causes of rectal pain are anal fissures, hemorrhoids, and rectal foreign bodies. Anal fissures are small tears in the anus from moving stool or giving birth, while hemorrhoids are swollen veins in or around the anus. Rectal foreign bodies are foreign objects inserted in the anus or, in less common causes, consumed and then lodged in the rectum during a bowel movement. Sexually transmitted diseases can also be the culprit for rectal pain, though not all diseases are capable of causing pain in this area.

Anal fissures are small tears in the lining of the anus. They are a common cause of pain, ultimately caused by particularly hard or large bowel movements. For example, people who have diarrhea and frequently pass large bowel movements might develop an anal fissure. Sometimes child birth is the cause of anal fissures because of the passing of a newborn’s head. The pain of a fissure can last for hours and be accompanied by spots of blood on the stool and is worse during bowel movements.

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Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that can present on either the outside or inside of the anus and commonly cause rectal pain. This condition is caused by anal pressure, usually from straining during constipation. The symptoms of hemorrhoids include rectal pain, blood, and itching. This condition can often be addressed without seeing a medical professional through the use of topical medications and aids, such as stool softeners. It is typically advised that an afflicted person seek medical attention if his or her condition does not get better quickly or bleeding is persistent.

A rectal foreign body is an object stuck in the anus that is most often inserted through the anus rather than consumed. Sometimes people do consume things, like bones, that eventually get stuck in the rectum, however. Rectal foreign bodies can cause rectal pain and discomfort, but they should not be removed without a health professional present. By removing it on one’s own, a person risks puncturing the wall of his or her bowel, which allows the contents of the bowel to flow into the abdomen and pose a serious threat to his or her life. Treatment for rectal foreign bodies is often delayed out of embarrassment, but prompt treatment can be important.

Sexually transmitted diseases can also be a cause of rectal pain; for example, it is a common symptom of chlamydia. Rectal pain related to chlamydia is often accompanied bleeding or discharge. Finally, rectal pain is also a symptom of gonorrhea.

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