Having blood dripping from the anus might be frightening, although this is not an uncommon problem. In general women experience more frequent issues with rectal blood dripping compared to men, as blood coming out of the anus becomes one of the potential problems encountered during menstruation or pregnancy. However, there are some other risk factors responsible for rectal bleeding, and finding out these factors can be beneficial in understanding potential risks of rectal bleeding and proper treatments to take for proper healing.
Why rectal bleeding occurs
Rectal bleeding refers to bleeding from the bottom that you might notice during or after bowel movements. The amount of blood dripped from the anus may vary and can be visible on the underwear, toilet paper, or toilet bowl. In some other cases, rectal bleeding causes blood covering the stools. The shades of blood coming out of the anus may also vary, from the bright red to the thicker and darker red color. Concerning rectal bleeding, there are two major primary thoughts:
- Bright red blood means it is recently produced and has not been kept in any of the intestines, stomach, or rectum for certain period of time. This indicates recent bleeding that occurs in any area around the anus. It may be small fissures or tears of the anus lining happening during bowel movements.
- Thick and dark red-colored blood that is sticky is commonly a result of bleeding on the higher tract of digestive system.
Despite these major principles, it is best to talk to the doctor about rectal bleeding, especially if the symptoms are persistent or recurrent.
Possible causes of blood coming out of the anus
If you are dripping some blood out of the anus, the underlying cause might be one of common causes of rectal bleeding elaborated below:
- Hemorrhoids, or also referred as piles
- Piles is caused by swollen blood vessels in the rectum or anus, which may occur either inside or outside the anus, and varies in size.
- Anyone can be affected by hemorrhoids, but pregnant women and female aged above 45 are considered the most susceptible victims.
- Piles can possibly cause bleeding during or after bowel movements, and when the affected person squats for a long period.
- In addition to rectal bleeding, hemorrhoids can also be signed by itchy feeling around the anus, swollen rectum outside the anal hole, and pain around the affected region.
- Anal fissures
- Anal fissure is a small tear of the anal lining, which is mostly caused by large, hard stool passing the anus, causing damages to the delicate anal lining.
- Commonly, anal fissure pain is felt right after the hard stool passes. There will be pain and burning sensation, and might be followed by blood spotted on the toilet paper.
- Pain and burning sensation caused by torn anal lining may stay for more than a day and will reoccur during the next bowel movement.
- Anal fissures generally occur in people with constipation, wherein hard, large stools are common and likely to pass.
- This is a bacterial or viral infection affecting the stomach and bowel, which most of the time is signed by diarrhea.
- Rectal bleeding caused by this infection triggers the presence of blood and mucus in the stools, in addition to cramps, vomiting, nausea, headache, and high temperature.
- Most gastroenteritis does not require medical attention, as the body immune system will be able to fight the causal bacteria, getting away the symptoms within few days.
- Bowel cancer
- In less frequent cases, rectal bleeding is an initial sign of bowel cancer—the type of cancer affecting the colon and rectum. This cancer can mostly be fully treated as long as it is initially detected and thus, treated.
- In addition to rectal bleeding, bowel cancer is also signed by other symptoms, such as a change in bowel habit for three last weeks or more, abdominal pain, a lump in the tummy, weight loss, and extreme tiredness.
What to do to stop rectal bleeding
In most rectal bleeding cases, the symptoms are worsened by constipation. Hence, there are some possible things you can do to prevent constipation and thus, eventually stop the bleeding from the anus, such as:
- Adding lots of fiber, fruits, and vegetables into the diet.
- Keep the body and digestive system hydrated by drinking sufficient amount of water every day. Eight glasses of water is advised and more is recommended.
- Try to keep the body active by doing exercises regularly.
- Never hold the urge to defecate, as it may cause the stool to harden, which can possibly cause constipation and may trigger bleeding from the anus as a result of anal fissure.