Seeing blood in the toilet, or on toilet paper, after a bowel movement can be scary. But not all rectal bleeding is a sign of something more serious.
What Causes Rectal Bleeding?
There are several common reasons for rectal bleeding. The most common is hemorrhoids. Other causes include anal fissures, polyps, colitis or tumors.
If you’ve ever had hemorrhoids you know they aren’t any fun. For many people hemorrhoids may go away on their own after a few days, but for others hemorrhoids can become a recurring and painful problem.
So what are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are actually swollen blood vessels. They can be internal or external, and some people may have both types at the same time. External hemorrhoids are more likely to cause pain and itching when irritated while internal hemorrhoids are generally painless but can cause bleeding.
Rectal bleeding can be bright red (hematachezia) to dark, maroon colored (melena). The most common cause of rectal bleeding is hemorrhoids which cause bright red bleeding and are generally not painful although occasionally associated with pain that dissipates.
Don’t fear, most rectal bleeding is benign and treatable
Possible Causes of Rectal Bleeding
- Hemorhoids (most common)
- Colonic tumors