Rectal Fissures

Bleeding from the Rectum

Rectal fissures can be a cause of rectal bleeding and pain.

One of the reasons that there can be some bleeding from the rectum is when there is a tear or fissure in the tissues of the lower parts of the digestive tract.

A close look at the diagram below will show that the rectum lies above the anal canal. The area at which the rectum transitions into the anal canal is called the pectinate line.

rectal fissures

It is very rare for there to be a tear or fissure in the area of the rectum. The place where that more commonly occurs is in the lower portion of the anal canal. However, there may be some other condition existing in the area of the rectum that can cause discomfort and symptoms that resemble those associated with a fissure in the anal canal.

What usually causes a fissure in the tissue of the anal canal is when some sort of trauma or stress is applied to the area. In most cases the culprit is a bowel movement during which an overly large or hard stool is passed through the anal canal causing the tissue to stretch beyond its normal range. Recurring diarrhea can also cause this kind of injury.

Foreign objects such as rectal thermometers, enema syringe, or even an endoscopic or ultrasound probe being inserted into the anal opening may also result in over stretching.

It goes without saying that childbirth, digital rectal exams and anal sex are also possible causes.

Itchy Rectum

One of the common symptoms of rectal fissures is the itchy feeling in the area of the anal opening. Extremely painful bowel movements usually accompany this condition as well. Because the muscles that are torn never really get a chance to relax it is very difficult for the healing process to take place.

The itching can be caused by mucous coming into contact with the raw flesh in the tear or from the discharge of pus from the unhealed fissure.

Studies show that about 90% of all anal fissures occur in the posterior (next to the spine) region of the anal canal. It is also true that the volume of blood flow in this region is lower than other parts of the canal. This is one of the major reasons why healing of the fissure is more difficult.

Swollen Hemorrhoids

A condition closely associated with rectal fissures and that in some cases may even be the cause of them is hemorrhoids that become excessively swollen.

When the blood that fills the vascular system encircling the rectum and anal canal is not able for some reason to circulate properly, swelling of the tissue and pooling of the blood occurs and results in thrombosis.

The tissue of the swollen hemorrhoids becomes thin and is much more vulnerable to a tear during a bowel movement than normal tissue. This can result in bleeding from the anus and blood being found on the stool. Hematochezia which is a term used to describe the passing of blood from the anus can be caused by numerous conditions.

Rectal fissures and swollen hemorrhoids are just a couple of the conditions that may cause bleeding from the anus. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it would be a wise choice to see your doctor and get a diagnosis of the condition so that you know for sure what you are up against.

There is a myriad of options available to help with treatment of the above mentioned conditions. Your doctor will no doubt prescribe what he thinks is best.

There are also many products available for over the counter use that have proven to be effective for many sufferers.

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