Do you experience pain during defecation? Whether the pain is sharp and stabbing or more of an ache, it can certainly be debilitating and worrisome. Here's a look at the most common causes of pain with defecation and what you can do about them.
Does the pain feel similar to that which you experience when you cut a finger or suffer from a paper cut? Have you noticed a little bright red blood on the toilet tissue? You probably just have an anal fissure, which is a small crack in the skin that lines the anus. These tears can occur if you pass hard stool, wipe with rough cloth, or have recently given birth.
To ease your pain, you can try taking a stool softener to make bowel movements easier to pass. Apply a topical pain relieving gel, such as those made for hemorrhoids, to the area if you wish. The fissure should heal up in a week or so. If it does not, then see your doctor.
Is the pain more of an ache or a deep sharpness in your anus and perhaps a little up into your rectum? Chances are, you have hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the rectum and anus. They can be brought on by straining during defecation, lifting weights, and childbirth.
To treat your hemorrhoids, try applying a hemorrhoid cream to the area a few times per day. This should help alleviate swelling and make the hemorrhoids less sensitive. You can also sit in an Epsom salts bath every night. If the hemorrhoids continue to cause you pain, see your doctor. Severe cases sometimes require prescription creams or surgical correction.
If the pain is more of an ache and seems to be located further up in your rectum or colon, there's a chance it's being caused by rectal polyps. These are abnormal growths in the rectal tissue. Though they are usually nothing serious to worry about, they can be cancerous, so it's important to be checked out by your physician.
Your doctor will likely schedule you for a colonoscopy at a place like Lincoln Surgical Group PC, during which a special camera will be used to visualize the inside of your colon. If you do indeed have polyps, they will be removed and a tissue sample will be analyzed to ensure they are not cancerous.
Most pain with defecation is caused by minor ailments, like anal fissures and hemorrhoids, which clear up on their own within a week or two. See your doctor if your pain is long-lasting.