8 Causes and Treatments for Rectal Bleeding


Although finding blood in the toilet bowl or on your toilet paper is unsettling, you probably don't need to be concerned. Even though bloody stools should be treated, many causes of rectal bleeding may not necessitate an emergency visit to the doctor.

Rectal bleeding is a catch-all term used by healthcare experts to describe any blood that exits your body through your rectum. This does not imply that the source of your bleeding is your rectum; the blood could be coming from any place in your intestines. This disorder is also known as gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage.

Here are eight common causes and treatments for rectal bleeding:

1. Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are anal blood vessels that are irritated. They are quite frequent, affecting around one in every twenty persons and over 50% of Americans over the age of 50. They might appear as tiny bumps on the outside or inside of the anus and can bleed during bowel movements or wiping.

Hemorrhoids, often known as piles, can affect people of any age, although some people are at a higher risk of acquiring them. 

Over-the-counter (OTC) creams and suppositories containing hydrocortisone usually work well for hemorrhoids. Regularly taking warm baths, eating a high-fiber diet, and utilizing stool softeners can help alleviate hemorrhoids' discomfort.

If the first therapies are unsuccessful, a doctor may perform small surgery to remove the hemorrhoids.

2. Fistulas

When an unnatural opening or pocket forms between two nearby organs, it is called a fistula. Fistulas that form between the anus and the rectum or between the anus and the skin can result in the emission of white fluid and blood.

Antibiotics are occasionally used to treat fistulas, but if they progress, surgery may be required.

3. Fissures

When the tissues lining the anus, colon, or rectum break, it causes discomfort and rectal bleeding. Passing a firm stool might create a rip in some people. After they occur, they frequently result in bright red blood after having a bowel movement.

Warm baths, a high-fiber diet, and stool softeners can all assist in alleviating fissure symptoms. In severe circumstances, cracks may necessitate the use of prescription treatments or surgery.

4. Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis occurs when microscopic pockets known as diverticula form on the colon's walls around a weakening in the organ's muscular layers.

Diverticula can occasionally bleed, but this normally ceases on its own. Infected and inflamed diverticula frequently cause pain and might result in rectal bleeding – typically a mild flow of blood lasting a few seconds.

Diverticular bleeding can cause considerable blood loss at times. As a result, a person should seek medical assistance right away.

Diverticulitis can be treated with antibiotics and, in extreme situations, surgery.

5. Proctitis or colitis

Proctitis occurs when the rectum's tissues become inflamed, causing pain and bleeding.

Colitis is caused by inflammation of the tissues lining the colon. Ulcerative colitis is a kind of colitis that can create open, progressive sores that frequently bleed.

Depending on the etiology, Proctitis and colitis treatments differ from antibiotics to surgery.

6. Gastroenteritis

Bacterial infections can induce colon and stomach inflammation, resulting in diarrhea that may contain mucus and blood. Bloody diarrhea is not usually associated with viral gastroenteritis.

Depending on the reason, gastroenteritis is usually treated with fluids, relaxation, and antibiotics or antivirals.

7. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Sexual intercourse in the anal area that is not protected can spread a variety of viral and bacterial infections. These can induce anus and rectum irritation. If inflammation occurs, it raises the risk of bleeding.

Depending on the type of infection, STI treatment usually consists of an antibiotic, antiviral, or antifungal medicine.

8. Prolapse

Weakening rectal tissues can cause a piece of the rectum to push forward or bulge outside the anus, causing pain and, nearly always, bleeding.

Rectal prolapse can occur at any age; however, ladies over the age of 50 are six times more likely than males to develop a prolapse.

Surgical intervention is typically used in treatment.

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