Anal pain is something that affects many people, although some may be reluctant to talk about it openly. It can be caused by a variety of factors and varies from mild to severe pain. In most cases, this type of pain is felt while having a bowel movement or while wiping afterward. For some, however, the pain may persist all the time and is not limited to defecation. This, in turn, can make activities like sitting and/or riding in a car uncomfortable.
Reasons for Anal Pain
According to the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS), a variety of health problems can actually bring on anal pain. Anal fissures are small tears in anal skin that can be quite painful. When present, they make bowel movements especially uncomfortable. In most cases, they are caused by passing a large or hard stool. Anal penetration can also cause them. Hemorrhoids can be another source of anal pain. These are swollen, painful veins near the anus or rectum. According to Harvard Medical School, there isn’t one clear answer as to what causes hemorrhoids. They are associated with chronic constipation and straining during bowel movements. They are also more common during pregnancy.
Anal pain may be brought about by an abscess caused by a bacterial infection. This is often linked to lingering, constant anal pain. Fungal infections can cause persistent discomfort and itching, as well. According to CNN, anal itching can also be caused by excessive washing, dry skin, skin disorders, anal tumors, food irritants, too much moisture and more. Anal STDs like gonorrhea, herpes and Chlamydia can cause anal pain, too.
Experts advise seeking professional treatment if anal pain doesn’t improve on its own of with over-the-counter medications within a few days. If the pain persists for over two weeks, it may indicate a more serious underlying condition.