Rectum or Rectal Bleeding

Buttock Rectum | Urology | Rectum or Rectal Bleeding (Symptom)


The rectum is the temporary storage area for bowel motions, and makes up the last 20cm or so of the large bowel. Rectal bleeding indicates the passage of blood from the anus. The bleeding may arise from any part of the gastrointestinal tract, including the rectum.


Rectal bleeding can be caused by any number of gastrointestinal difficulties. Typically, bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract manifests as black or tarry stool known as melena. The black color develops because of chemical changes that occur as the blood passes through the digestive tract. The passage of bright red blood from the anus is known as hematochezia and usually results from bleeding from sources that are closer to the anus and rectum.

Common causes of rectal bleeding are hemorrhoids, anal fissures, and diverticulosis. The severity of rectal bleeding varies among individuals depending on the cause. Most often, people experience rectal bleeding that is mild, caused by minor problems such as hemorrhoids, and resolves on its own. People who have severe bleeding may see a large amount of blood after a single bowel movement, which, if it continues, can result in significant blood loss. Symptoms of blood loss include light-headedness, dizziness, fainting, and difficulty breathing.