Although it’s not a topic that often comes up at dinner parties or Zoom meetings, rectal pain is very common. One study found that nearly 16% of women and men experience rectal complaints at some point in their lives. However, only about 2% talk about the topic themselves in the doctor’s office.
Refusing to talk about your rectal pain and bring it to your doctor’s attention can lead to a late diagnosis, which can make it harder to treat the cause of your rectal pain. The sooner you recognize rectal pain and seek a diagnosis, the sooner you can get rid of the pain and get the care you need.
At Colon and Rectal Surgery of Greater Hartford, colon specialists diagnose and treat all causes of rectal pain at our offices in Bloomfield, South Windsor, and Plainville, Connecticut. If you are experiencing rectal pain, here are a few possible reasons behind it.
Inserting an object into the anus can cause permanent or chronic pain. Vigorous rectal intercourse without adequate lubrication can damage, tear, and cause pain in the rectal tissue. Even constipation can damage your anus.
If you inserted something into your anus, it (or part of it) might still be there. Inserting something is much easier than re-pulling it.
In fact, trying to extract it yourself can cause damage. Call us instead; We specialize in anal and rectal object removal.
Hemorrhoids are large veins in your anus that can become swollen and painful. Hemorrhoids appear on the outside of the anus and affect the delicate skin around it.
External hemorrhoids may not be painful until they become thrombosed (that is, form a blood clot). Thrombotic hemorrhoids are very painful, especially during bowel movements.
Inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) include Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Although CD and UC affect different parts of the gastrointestinal tract and present different symptoms, both involve the rectum.
Both diseases can alternate with diarrhea and constipation. Diarrhea and constipation can damage your anus and cause pain.
Abscesses, fistulas, fissures, ulcers
Abscesses, fistulas, fissures, and ulcers may develop around the anus due to injury or other causes. Any of them can cause unbearable pain.
An abscess is a pus-filled sore or lump. If an abscess is not treated, it can become a fistula.
Fistulas are abnormal connections or “tunnels” that connect two types of tissue that shouldn’t be connected. For example, a rectal fistula tunnels from the anus to the outside of the anus, leaving an opening in the skin.
A fissure is a small tear in the lining of the anus. Fissures may occur during bowel movements.
Ulcers are open wounds that do not heal. Anus ulcers are very painful during bowel movements.
Proctitis refers to inflammation of the lining of the rectum, which leads to the anus. When your tissues are inflamed, they are easily irritated by bowel movements.
Any infection in your anus can cause pain. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) usually involve the anus. As part of your work, we will test you for STDs.
Rectal pain is rare, but it could be the cause of your rectal pain. This type of cancer spreads through the rectum, the short section that connects the anus to the rectum.
If left untreated, rectal cancer can metastasize (ie spread) to other parts of your body. Detecting rectal cancer at an early stage increases the chance of a complete cure.
Most cases of rectal disease are caused by sexually transmitted diseases, especially human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Get regular STD screening to reduce your risk of rectal cancer.