In Kingwood, Texas, Dr. Ronald Ambe of Texas Surgical Care provides care for patients with rectal pain or anal discomfort like itching or burning. He can help you discover the cause of your symptoms and take steps to restore your comfort and decorum.
Common causes of anal discomfort or rectal pain
Anal discomfort can include feelings of pressure, burning, or itching. You may also have rectal pain or bleeding. Here are some of the most common casues of anal discomfort:
Hemorrhoids, or enlarged veins aorund the anus and lower part of the rectum, are a very common cause of anal discomfort. Hemorrhoids affect about one in 20 Americans, and nearly 50% of people over the age of 50.
Hemorrhoids can cause itching, irritation, swelling, and redness around the anus. If a vein becomes too irritated or enlarges, it can cause mild bleeding. Hemorrhoids may or may not cause pain. If you have a painful external hemorrhoid, it may be thrombosed, which means a blood clot formed inside the vein.
Anal fissures are tiny tears around the opening of the rectum. If you’re very constipated and try to pass a large, hard ball of stool, you can get an anal fissure. You can also get an anal fissure from having anal sex without sufficient preparation or lubrication. Anal fissures heal very slowly, because every bowel movement can make them tear open again.
Small glands around your anus produce oils to keep the skin hydrated. When a gland becomes blocked, it forms an abscess. A tunnel that opens from the abscessed gland to the anal skin is called a fistula. Anal fistulas can make bowel movements painful, due to swelling around the anus, and you might notice blood and pus mixing with your stool.
Proctalgia fugax is a muscle spasm that causes rectal pain. Sex, going to the bathroom, or stress can trigger a spasm. You might feel a sudden stabbing pain that lasts for a few seconds, or up to 30 minutes. Typical treatment for proctalgia fugax involves identifying and avoiding triggers.
If you have chronic constipation, you may end up with impacted feces. This can cause extreme pressure in your lower rectum and around your anus. If not treated, fecal impaction can lead to anal tears or fissures, or even a fistula.
Levator ani syndrome is a painful spasm of your pelvic floor muscles. You’re much more likely to experience this if you’re a woman. In addition to anal discomfort and pain, you may have pain in your lower left abdomen, pain when urinating, or pain in your vaginal canal.
When anal discomfort could be cancer
Most anal cancers are painless until the tumor grows big enough to press on an organ or on internal tissues. Rectal bleeding or itching, or what feels like a mass or a lump near the opening of the anus, can be a sign of rectal cancer, but can also be caused by many of the conditions listed above.
If you have rectal pain regularly or feel a mass, it’s best to make an appointment with your proctologist. If you have consistent bleeding, fever and/or chills, or anal discharge, seek medical treatment.
Are you ready to say goodbye to rectal pain or other anal discomfort? Give Texas Surgical Care a call at 832-280-6782 or schedule an appointment online with us today.