Although it’s not a topic that usually comes up at dinner parties or Zoom meetings, anal pain is actually pretty common. In fact, one study found that almost 16% of women and men have an anal complaint at some point in their lives. However, only about 2% bring up the subject themselves when at the doctor’s office.
A reluctance to talk about anal pain and bring it to your doctor’s attention could result in a late diagnosis that could make the cause of your anal pain difficult to treat. The sooner you acknowledge anal pain and seek a diagnosis, the sooner you can resolve the pain and receive the care you need.
At Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford, our colorectal experts diagnose and treat all causes of anal pain in our Bloomfield, South Windsor, and Plainville, Connecticut, offices. If you have anal pain, here are a few of the reasons that could be behind it.
Inserting objects into your anus may cause trauma that creates persistent or chronic pain. Vigorous anal sex without sufficient lubrication could damage or tear your anal tissues and lead to pain. Even constipation can traumatize your anus.
If you’ve inserted an object into your anus, it (or part of it) may still be there. It’s much easier to insert something than it is to pull it out again.
In fact, trying to pull it out yourself could cause damage. Call us instead; we specialize in removing objects from the anus and rectum.
Hemorrhoids are large veins in your anus that may become bloated and painful. Hemorrhoids can extend outside your anus and affect the sensitive skin around it.
External hemorrhoids may not hurt at all until they thrombose (i.e., form a blood clot). Thrombosed hemorrhoids may be extremely painful, especially during bowel movements.
The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Although CD and UC affect different portions of your gastrointestinal tract and have different manifestations, they can both cause anal pain.
Both diseases may be marked by alternating diarrhea and constipation. Diarrhea and constipation can traumatize your anus, which results in pain.
Due to trauma or other reasons, you may develop abscesses, fistulas, fissures, or ulcers on or around your anus. Any one of them can cause excruciating pain.
Abscesses are pus-filled sores or lumps. Untreated, an abscess can become a fistula.
Fistulas are abnormal connections or “tunnels” that connect two types of tissue that aren’t meant to be connected. For instance, an anal fistula may run like a tunnel from the inside of your anus to the outside of your anus, leaving an opening outside your skin.
A fissure is a small tear in the mucosal lining in your anus. Fissures may bleed when you have a bowel movement.
An ulcer is an open sore that fails to heal. Ulcers in your anus can be extremely painful when you pass stool.
Proctitis refers to inflammation of the lining of your rectum, which leads to your anus. When your tissues are inflamed, they’re easily irritated by bowel movements.
Any infection in your anus can cause pain. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) often cause anal pain. As part of your work-up, we’ll test you for STDs.
Anal cancer is rare, but it could still be a cause of your anal pain. This type of cancer develops in the anal canal, which is a short segment that connects your rectum to your anus.
Without treatment, anal cancer can metastasize (i.e., spread) to other parts of your body. Catching anal cancer in its early stages increases your chances for a complete cure.
Most cases of anal cancer are caused by STDs, particularly by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Get screened regularly for STDs to reduce your risk for anal cancer.
To find out why you have anal pain and get relief, contact the experts at Colon and Rectal Surgeons of Greater Hartford today. Call our friendly, discreet team at 860-242-8591. Or, schedule an appointment online.