I know, that was a sick headline, wasn’t it? But it’s true. Anyone who has had an anal fissure will tell you that it’s not pleasant and it can be very painful.
What is an anal fissure? It’s an opening or tear in the anus (rectum), usually from the anal opening and the middle of the anus. They’re not uncommon and anyone can get one. Some causes of anal fissures are:
- straining to move your bowels, especially if the stool is hard and dry
- severe and chronic constipation
- severe and chronic diarrhea
- complicated child birth
- Crohn’s disease
- irritable bowel syndrome
- rough anal sex
What are the symptoms? Chances are, if you have an anal fissure, you know it. The signs and symptoms usually are:
- stinging or burning pain during a bowel movement
- rectal pain that lasts beyond after having a bowel movement
- bright red blood just after moving your bowels
Most anal fissures can heal on their own. Some home remedies include:
- ensuring you have enough fiber in your diet to prevent constipation and straining
- drinking lots of water and fluids, also to help soften stools
- if not contraindicated because of a medical problem, stool softeners or laxatives may help
- sitting in a warm tub of water for a while a few times a day, or using a Sitz bath – a bowl that sits on the toilet seat, which allows you to sit in warm water
If the anal fissure is severe and is causing a lot of pain and discomfort, surgery is also possible to help repair it.
If you have had an anal fissure, it’s important to take steps to reduce the risk of having another, which means watching your diet to be sure to avoid constipation – that is the number one cause.
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