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How to stop bleeding from stool: Rectal Bleeding Treatment & Causes

11 causes of rectal bleeding

Sometimes people see blood on the paper after wiping. Hemorrhoids are the most common reason, but rectal bleeding can also indicate a serious gastrointestinal condition that needs medical attention.

A few occasional drops or streaks of blood in the toilet when wiping or in the stool are usually not a worry. Around 13–34% of people experience bleeding from the rectum, and the most common cause it hemorrhoids or piles.

However, in some cases, bright red blood in the stool may indicate bleeding in the lower colon or rectum. Darker red blood is a sign of bleeding in the small bowel or upper colon. Very dark or black-red blood often means there is bleeding in the stomach or other organs of the digestive system.

This article reviews 11 causes of rectal bleeding, along with additional symptoms of each, and when to see a doctor.

There is a wide range of reasons for blood in the stool. Many health conditions and factors can cause or add to rectal bleeding.

Some of the most common causes include:

1. Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are inflamed anal blood vessels. They are very common, affecting about 1 in 20 people and about 50% of Americans over the age of 50. They can develop on the outside or inside of the anus, appearing as small bumps that occasionally bleed during bowel movements or when wiping.

Hemorrhoids, which people may refer to as piles, can impact anyone of any age, but some people have a higher risk of developing them. A few risk factors include:

  • pregnancy
  • chronic constipation
  • chronic diarrhea
  • straining during bowel movements
  • often lifting heavy objects
  • sitting on the toilet for too long
  • obesity
  • low fiber or unbalanced diet
  • being over the age of 50

Hemorrhoids usually respond well to over-the-counter (OTC) creams and suppositories that contain hydrocortisone. Taking warm baths frequently, eating a high-fiber diet, and using stool softeners can also help reduce the discomfort of hemorrhoids.

If initial treatments fail, a doctor may perform minor surgery to remove the hemorrhoids.

2. Fistulas

A fistula occurs when an abnormal opening or pocket develops between two neighboring organs. Fistulas that appear between the anus and rectum, or anus and skin, can cause a discharge of white fluid and blood.

Doctors sometimes treat fistulas with antibiotics, but they may require surgery if they progress.

3. Fissures

Anal fissures occur when tissues lining the anus, colon, or rectum tear, resulting in pain and rectal bleeding. In some cases, passing a hard stool can cause a tear. When they occur, they often cause bright red blood when passing a bowel movement.

Warm baths, a high-fiber diet, and stool softeners can all help reduce symptoms of fissures. In severe cases, fissures may require prescription creams or surgery.

4. Diverticulitis

Diverticulitis occurs when small pockets called diverticula develop on the walls of the colon around a weakness in the organ’s muscular layers.

These pockets are very common. Sometimes diverticula can start bleeding, but this usually stops on its own.

The pockets do not usually cause symptoms or require treatment unless they become infected.

Infected and inflamed diverticula often cause pain and can lead to rectal bleeding — usually a moderate flow of blood that lasts for a few seconds.

However, diverticular bleeding can at times result in a significant amount of blood loss. For this reason, a person should immediately seek medical attention. A person can recognize they may be experiencing diverticular bleeding if painless bleeding is coming from the rectum.

Doctors may treat diverticulitis with antibiotics and, in severe cases, surgery.

5. Proctitis or colitis

Proctitis occurs when the tissues of the rectum become inflamed, often resulting in pain and bleeding.

Colitis occurs when the tissues lining the colon become inflamed. A type of colitis, called ulcerative colitis, can also cause ulcers, or open, progressive sores, that often bleed.

Treatments for proctitis and colitis vary, depending on the causes. They range from antibiotics to surgery.

Common causes of proctitis and colitis include:

  • infection
  • some conditions that cause digestive problems, such as Crohn’s disease
  • some medications, such as blood thinners
  • radiation or chemotherapy
  • anal intercourse
  • reduced blood flow to the colon or rectum
  • a blockage in the colon or rectum

6. Gastroenteritis

Bacterial infections can cause inflammation of the colon and stomach, causing diarrhea that may contain mucus and blood. Viral gastroenteritis does not typically cause bloody diarrhea.

Treatment for gastroenteritis usually involves fluids, rest, and antibiotics or antivirals, depending on the exact cause.

7. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

Unprotected sexual intercourse that involves the anal area can spread a wide range of viral and bacterial diseases. These can cause inflammation of the anus and rectum. Inflammation, if it occurs, increases the likelihood of bleeding.

Treatment for STIs usually involves either an antibiotic, antiviral, or antifungal medication based on the type of infection.

8. Prolapse

Weakened rectal tissues can allow a portion of the rectum to push forward or bulge outside of the anus, usually resulting in pain and, almost always, bleeding.

Rectal prolapse can occur at any age; however, females over the age of 50 have a 6 times higher risk of developing a prolapse compared with males.

Typical treatment involves surgical intervention.

9. Polyps

Polyps are noncancerous, abnormal growths. When polyps grow on the lining of the rectum or colon they can cause irritation, inflammation, and minor bleeding.

In many cases, a doctor will typically remove polyps during a routine colonoscopy screening.

10. Colon or rectal cancer

Cancer that impacts the colon or rectum can cause irritation, inflammation, and bleeding. The blood may appear bright red or can cause stool to have a darker color.

Colon cancer is a very common form of cancer and tends to progress slowly, so it is often treatable if caught early.

Rectal cancer, while far rarer than colon cancer, is also usually curable if detected and treated in time.

Some cases of colon and rectal cancer develop from initially benign polyps. All cases of gastrointestinal cancer require treatment, which varies based on the stage of the cancer but can involve surgery or a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.

11. Internal bleeding

Major injury to any of the gastrointestinal organs can result in internal bleeding that passes through the rectum. Severe gastrointestinal disease can also lead to internal bleeding.

A person should see their doctor if they suspect internal rectal bleeding. The doctor will likely order a colonoscopy.

Occasional minor to mild rectal bleeding is common and will often not need medical attention or treatment.

Severe, chronic, or painful rectal bleeding may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, which a doctor should assess.

People normally notice rectal bleeding when they see streaks or drips of blood in their stool, the toilet bowl, or when wiping. Some people may also find blood in their underwear, or the toilet water may appear reddish-pink after they go to the bathroom.

Some cases of rectal bleeding also cause very bad smelling, dark, tarry stool mixed with dark red to black blood.

Reasons to see a doctor for rectal bleeding include:

  • bleeding that lasts longer than a few days
  • children with bloody stool or rectal bleeding
  • unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or weakness
  • painful, swollen, or tender abdomen
  • accompanying fever
  • simultaneous lumps in the abdomen
  • stool that is thinner, longer, or softer than normal for several weeks
  • accompanying nausea or vomiting
  • accompanying long-term constipation or changes in bowel habits
  • associated uncontrolled leakage from the anus

Reasons to seek emergency care for rectal bleeding include:

  • heavy bleeding
  • vomiting or coughing up blood
  • blood running from the nose, eyes, or ears
  • bleeding that is very dark red or black
  • the reason for bloody diarrhea is unclear, such as unrelated to an abdominal condition or medical treatment
  • loss of consciousness or confusion
  • extreme abdominal or lower back pain

If bleeding is associated with an already diagnosed medical condition, a doctor will discuss ways to manage, reduce, and track symptoms.

If the cause of rectal bleeding is unknown, a doctor will normally ask questions about symptoms and the person’s medical history.

Depending on the severity, frequency, and accompanying symptoms, the doctor will work out if further testing is required. A doctor may also make a referral to a gastrointestinal or colorectal specialist.

Common tests associated with rectal bleeding include:

  • a physical examination of the anus and rectum
  • analysis of a stool sample

Specialists may perform additional tests that can include:

  • colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy, where the doctor examines the colon with the insertion of a tube with a camera
  • anoscopy, where a doctor inserts a device into the anus to examine the tissue
  • biopsy or removal of a small tissue sample for examination
  • computerized tomography (CT) scan, which provides a 3D image

In some cases, there is no real way to prevent minor cases of rectal bleeding. However, some factors are known to cause, contribute to, or worsen anal bleeding.

Common prevention tips for rectal, colon and anal bleeding include:

  • eating a balanced diet that is high in fiber
  • always staying hydrated
  • not straining when going to the washroom
  • wiping the anus gently
  • treating chronic or prolonged constipation with OTC remedies, such as stool softeners
  • treating chronic or prolonged diarrhea with OTC remedies, such as bismuth subsalicylate
  • trying not to lift heavy objects unless required
  • maintaining a healthy body weight
  • taking long, warm baths frequently if experiencing symptoms
  • following treatment plans set out by a doctor for related medical conditions
  • trying to avoid spicy, rich, fatty, heavily processed, and refined foods
  • seeing a doctor about abnormal growths in the area
  • avoiding overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • wearing a condom during anal sex

People may wish to talk with a doctor about gastrointestinal symptoms that may be a sign of underlying conditions, including infections, digestive conditions, or abnormal growths.

Treatment for blood in the stool or when wiping depends on the exact cause of the bleeding.

For example, OTC and prescription creams can often treat hemorrhoids, while a diet rich in fiber or surgery may help with diverticulitis.

Common treatments include:

  • antibiotics
  • topical creams or ointments
  • eating more fiber
  • procedures such as a colonoscopy, or, in some cases, surgery to remove part of the colon

A person should talk with their doctor about what treatment options work best for them.

Some people may avoid talking with their doctor about rectal bleeding, even in moderate or severe cases, because they are embarrassed or have anxiety. While rare, heavy or chronic rectal bleeding can cause serious blood loss or be a sign of an underlying condition that requires treatment.

People should see a doctor about rectal bleeding that is chronic or noticeable or if they notice abnormal growths around the anus.

People should seek emergency medical attention for anal bleeding or stool that is very dark, especially if they are also vomiting or coughing up blood. It is also vital to seek immediate help for bleeding that lasts for more than a few minutes or if there are also other symptoms, such as severe pain, fever, or weakness.

The answers to some commonly asked questions appear below.

Why is there blood when I wipe?

Several underlying conditions can cause blood when a person wipes. The reasons can range from benign conditions, such as hemorrhoids or a minor injury, to much more severe conditions, such as cancer.

Why is there a small amount of blood when wiping?

A small amount of blood may indicate the presence of hemorrhoids or another minor issue. A small amount of blood may not require any specialized care or attention. However, if it gets worse or does not go away within a few days, a person should talk with their doctor.

Why is there blood when I wipe, but not in the stool and no pain?

The color of blood when wiping and the presence of blood in a person’s stool can help determine where the bleeding originates. As a general rule, if a person notices bright, red blood when wiping, it indicates the bleeding occurs near the rectum, while darker blood or bloody stool indicates the bleeding occurs further into the intestine. If bleeding occurs, a person should consider seeing their doctor if it is severe, worsens, or continues for several days.

Many times, a small amount of blood in the stool or when wiping is not a reason for concern. However, in some cases, it could mean bleeding in the rectum or colon. If the blood is very dark, this could mean the bleeding is coming from the digestion system.

There are numerous, possible causes of rectal symptoms. Each one may have different additional symptoms. If a person finds bleeding in the toilet after a bowel movement or when wiping, it is a good idea to see a doctor to rule out any serious conditions.

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Bleeding in the Small Bowel

Bleeding in the small bowel can have many underlying causes, and may be the cause of blood in the stool or anemia (not enough healthy red blood cells to get oxygen through the body) in some patients. It often stops for a while and then starts up again, and can occur anywhere along the 20-foot length of the small bowel. Therefore, finding the source of small bowel bleeding presents a great challenge.  

Small Bowel Bleeding Symptoms

Small bowel bleeding can be subtle or silent. However, when symptoms do occur they can include:

  • Blood in bowel movements
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Unexplained anemia

 If there is sudden or severe bleeding, symptoms can include:

  • Dizziness and/or weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in the stool or black tarry stools

At the Small Bowel Program, part of the University of Michigan’s Gastroenterology Program, our multidisciplinary team provides minimally invasive treatments that are not widely available to  diagnose and treat bleeding in the small bowel. Our team of small bowel gastroenterologists has extensive experience with these procedures and our physicians rank among the country’s experts in the field.  

What are the Most Common Risks for Small Bowel Bleeding?

The most common source of small bowel bleeding is angioectasias, which are abnormal blood vessels that lie within the wall of the small bowel, and are most often found in older patients. Bleeding can also come from ulcers caused by non-steroidal medications, tumors, inflammation, or blood vessels associated with certain heart conditions or cardiac implantable devices.

Diagnosing Bleeding in the Small Bowel

To diagnose small bowel bleeding, we start with a comprehensive examination and obtain a thorough history. A blood test and checking the stool for blood are common.

After ruling out a bleeding source from the stomach or colon, a capsule endoscopy is the recommend diagnostic exam for the small bowel. Capsule endoscopy is a study that allows us to see all the way through the small bowel and find things we wouldn’t be able to see any other way. The procedure involves swallowing a small capsule, which is the size of a large vitamin pill. Inside the capsule is a tiny wireless camera that takes more than 50,000 digital pictures as it passes through the small intestine. Images are transmitted to a recording device worn on a belt around your waist. This recording device saves the pictures for a specialist to look at and interpret at a later time. Our doctors have performed over 3,500 capsule endoscopies.

Small Bowel Bleeding Treatment

If we see bleeding during the capsule endoscopy test, we often recommend a double balloon enteroscopy.

Double balloon enteroscopy is a specialty endoscopy, or scope test, which allows doctors to go deep into the small bowel. The technology includes the use of balloon attachments on a scope which help move the scope through the small bowel to the affected area. Through the scope we can treat lesions, for example, by taking a biopsy of a tumor or destroying a bleeding vessel by with laser therapy. Our experienced doctors have performed more than 1,000 double balloon enteroscopies although this minimally invasive procedure is not widely available.

Multidisciplinary Care for Small Bowel Disease

As members of the Gastroenterology Division of the University of Michigan, we have developed mutual benefits from the resources of our entire medical center, and work in collaboration with other divisions to provide the most complete care. Our surgeons specialize in small bowel diseases and our pathologists, who review unusual findings on biopsies, have extensive small bowel experience.

Other Information About Digestive and Liver Health

To see related medical services we offer, visit our Digestive and Liver Health overview page.

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment to discuss small bowel bleeding or other digestive or liver health concerns, call us at is 888-229-7408.

Bleeding with hemorrhoids – doctor’s help in Simferopol

Bleeding with hemorrhoids is one of the symptoms of the disease. When the patient notices it for the first time, he is upset, fearful, bewildered. So the body signals that there is a problem that needs to be solved without pretending that everything is in order. Regular loss of blood harms the body, spoils underwear and clothes, causes fear and stress.

The publication is for informational purposes only. For advice, diagnosis and treatment, contact the professionals. No need to self-medicate. You will lose time, miss the chance to be cured by conservative methods without resorting to surgical intervention.

What causes bleeding in hemorrhoids?

The main reasons for the appearance of blood after defecation is trauma to the internal hemorrhoid, constipation, excessive straining. Bleeding occurs due to:

  • improper outflow of venous blood in the vessels of the rectal wall;
  • appearance of branched cavernous bodies;
  • genetic functional defects in the development of connective tissue;
  • improper supply of venous walls with nerve vessels.

Factors that enhance blood in hemorrhoids are a sedentary lifestyle, prolonged standing, pregnancy, systematic weight lifting, increased venous pressure in the rectal area due to chronic constipation. Obesity, alcohol abuse, spicy food, cirrhosis of the liver negatively affects.

Signs of the disease

The problem is found in the form of drops of red blood on the toilet after a bowel movement. The patient understands that he is not quite healthy, by the traces of blood in the stool, on linen, toilet paper. Painful sensations do not occur, therefore, for many people, blood from the anus comes as a surprise.

Hemorrhoidal bleeding should be taken seriously. If it appears after each bowel movement, the blood loss is quite significant. In a laboratory study, patients are often diagnosed with low hemoglobin levels. During a medical examination, external signs of anemia are ascertained – a weak pulse, low blood pressure, pale skin and mucous membranes, lethargy, weakness, fatigue.

Anal bleeding due to hemorrhoids usually stops on its own some time after stool. If it does not stop, medical attention is needed. Without a doctor who knows how to stop bleeding with hemorrhoids, in such cases, you can not do.


Comprehensive diagnostics includes visual examination, laboratory tests, instrumental examination. The doctor-coloproctologist examines the patient, conducts a digital examination. Referral to a general blood test allows you to assess the harm caused to the body by regular bleeding.

A detailed examination of the rectum is performed using:

  • anoscopy, which allows you to examine the rectum to a depth of 10 cm, assess the condition and location of nodes;
  • colonoscopy;
  • sigmoidoscopy for detailed examination of the exit from the sigmoid colon and rectal canal;
  • barium enema,
  • Ultrasound of the abdominal organs.

They allow you to clarify the diagnosis, exclude oncological diseases, Crohn’s disease, anal fissure, ulcerative colitis, and other diseases.

Treatment of bleeding from hemorrhoids in Simferopol Crimea

Conservative treatment includes the use of pharmaceuticals (suppositories, tablets) with hemostatic properties. If the treatment fails, minimally invasive techniques for removing hemorrhoids are used. One of them is scleration of the veins that feed the node, the second is pulling the node with an elastic band to stop the blood supply in order to mummify and die off the clamped node..

Femina Clinic in Simferopol offers a wide range of medical services. Experienced doctors know modern methods of diagnostics, treatment and prevention. Make an appointment by phone or on the website.

Bleeding from the anus – causes and solutions

Bleeding from the anus – causes and solutions to the problem

Quite often, patients turn to the proctologist with such an unpleasant symptom as bleeding from the anus . They notice blood on the toilet paper after a bowel movement or see it on their underwear after physical exertion, sex, etc. Blood discharge can be of a different nature and be both spotting and plentiful. Almost always they indicate pathologies of the rectum or colon. So, if you notice bleeding from the anus – what does mean? Let’s figure it out!

What pathologies can this symptom indicate? Possible causes of bleeding from the anus :

  1. Mechanical injuries – may appear due to injuries, rough anal sex, the release of too dense feces, foreign bodies in the anus. In this case, tears or cuts are formed, which are also called anal fissures, the person feels a stabbing pain, and he bleeds.
  2. Hemorrhoids – varicose veins located in the area, which is accompanied by the formation of bumps (nodules). It’s pretty common cause of bleeding from the anus . It appears when the node is injured – during the passage of feces or physical activity.
  3. Anal fimbriae are benign skin growths that may ooze blood when broken.
  4. Polyps in the rectum – may cause bleeding from the anus during bowel movements or after sports.
  5. Inflammatory pathologies – gastric or duodenal ulcers, as well as colitis can cause structural changes in the mucous membrane. Its integrity is damaged, and wounds are formed from which blood oozes.
  6. Angiodysplasia of the intestine is a pathology in which the vessels of the organ become too fragile. This can cause quite a lot of bleeding from the anus.
  7. Diverticula – protrusions in the walls of the rectum, forming hernial sacs. If they become infected, they become inflamed and bleed.
  8. Rectal cancer – intermittent bleeding from the anus with bowel cancer is a typical symptom. The blood is dark in color.

A fairly common problem is bleeding from the anus in women during pregnancy. And all because the growing uterus compresses the inferior vena cava, as a result, blood stagnates in the vessels of the rectum. This leads to the development of hemorrhoids and other pathologies. If the expectant mother noticed this symptom, you need to urgently see a doctor.

Factors that cause diseases of the rectum are often associated with dietary and lifestyle habits. For example, an abundance of spicy, fatty, acidic foods and simple carbohydrates in the diet can provoke the development of hemorrhoids. If a person leads a sedentary lifestyle, the risks increase. For example – a fairly typical problem – bleeding from the anus in men and women with “sedentary work” who drive a car more often than walk. It is also one of the “alarm bells” that it is time to tie with bad habits. In particular, quite a few patients complain of bleeding from the anus after alcohol .

What should I do if I find bloody discharge from the anus?

The most important thing is not to panic and not to draw worst-case scenarios in your head. But inaction is also not an option. If you are bleeding from the anus, what to do – only the doctor knows. Therefore, sign up for an appointment with a proctologist in the near future. Especially if the discharge of blood is abundant and does not stop. In such cases, it is better to immediately call an ambulance – doctors will find than to stop bleeding from the anus .

Diagnosis and treatment methods at the proctologist

To find out the cause of the problem, the doctor performs:

  • visual examination and palpation;
  • anoscopy;
  • sigmoidoscopy;
  • laboratory tests of blood and feces.

Based on the results of the examination, the proctologist determines the cause of the problem and prescribes a suitable treatment for bleeding from the anus . This directly depends on the diagnosis, but in most cases, rectal pathologies are eliminated surgically.