Every so often, we all have a bowel movement that’s less than comfortable.
We might have diarrhea, we might get constipated, and, worst of all, we might have poops that cause us a lot of pain.
It’s not fun to talk about, but everyone has painful bowel movements every once in a while.
If pooping causes you pain, it can be awkward and embarrassing — and it might make you shy away from going to the bathroom. Unfortunately, that can cause even more problems.
Often, anal pain is no big deal, but sometimes it’s a little more serious. It’s important to discuss any pain with your doctor.
There are a variety of reasons you might have painful bowel movements, and they can all be treated in different ways. Many people assume that hemorrhoids are the only cause of painful poops, but there are a number of other causes as well.
To find out more about painful bowel movements, what causes them, and how to treat them, continue reading!
Cause #1: Anal Fissures
One common cause of painful bowel movements is anal fissures.
According to the UK’s National Health Service, “an anal fissure is a small tear in the skin of the anus that can be caused by passing a large or hard poo.”
Symptoms of an anal fissure include a burning pain that lasts for hours after your bowel movement, a severe pain while pooping, or rectal bleeding.
Most anal fissures heal on their own — eating extra fiber and drinking more water can help with the pain.
Cause #2: Proctitis
The Mayo Clinic explains that “proctitis is an inflammation of the lining of the rectum.”
Symptoms of proctitis include constantly or frequently feeling like you need to poop, rectal bleeding and pain, pooping mucus, and diarrhea.
If you have these symptoms, contact a doctor — they can treat you for the condition.
Cause #3: Constipation
Constipation — not being able to comfortably pass a bowel movement — happens to all of us. It’s no fun, but fortunately it isn’t a big deal most of the time.
If your constipation lasts, or you strain too much to pass a bowel movement, it can lead to hemorrhoids and anal fissures, explains the Mayo Clinic.
Cause #4: Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the rectum and anus, can cause a lot of pain — and may even bleed — when you’re pooping.
Lots of people experience hemorrhoids at some point in time, and they can cause itching, blood, and discomfort.
Luckily, there are a lot of easy ways to deal with hemorrhoids, including soaking in a sitz bath, icing the area, and applying petroleum jelly to the hemorrhoids.
Cause #5: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a large-intestine disorder that affects the colon.
IBS is fairly common and usually its symptoms aren’t too severe. One of the things that can happen with IBS is alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea, which can irritate the anus.
Talk to your doctor if you think you might have IBS — there’s no cure for it, but there are a variety of ways to treat it so you feel more comfortable.
Cause #6: Anal Fistula
The Cleveland Clinic explains:
“Just inside the anus are a number of small glands. If one of these glands become blocked, an abscess — an infected cavity — may form… Most fistulas result from an anal abscess.”
Symptoms of an anal fistula include pain and swelling around the anus, rectal bleeding, pain while pooping, irritation of the skin around the anus, and bloody or odorous drainage from an opening near the anus.
Usually, surgery is required to treat an anal fistula, so visit your doctor if you think you might have one.
Cause #7: Inflammatory Bowel Disease
“Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) involves chronic inflammation of all or part of your digestive tract,” explains the Mayo Clinic.
Usually IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. IBD has a variety of symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal cramping and pain, and bloody stool.
There is no cure for IBD, but doctors can treat the disease with surgery or medications.
Cause #8: Colorectal Cancer
One of the most serious painful bowel movement problems is colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or rectum, and usually begin as a growth called a polyp, explains the American Cancer Society.
Symptoms of colorectal cancer include constipation, diarrhea, bloody stool, feeling that you can’t empty your bowel, and frequent cramps and gas pains.
If you think you have colorectal cancer, your doctor will work with you on a diagnosis and a treatment plan.
When To Call Your Doctor
Painful bowel movements can be caused by a variety of different things, but you may want to contact your doctor if your pain is severe.
The Mayo Clinic explains that you should see your doctor if you have very severe pain, if your pain doesn’t improve in a few days, or if you also have rectal bleeding.
Please SHARE this article if you think everyone should know more about their health!