In most cases, anal/rectal problems go away with treatment.
- Because most cases of proctitis are caused by sexually transmitted infection, antibiotics are useful.
- Proctitis caused by other conditions, such as radiation therapy, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn disease, may last a long time. You may need long-term therapy. Your symptoms may return from time to time (in a relapse or flare-up).
- In certain instances, where medications are not effective, you may need surgery to remove the diseased part of your GI tract. There can be complications as a result of proctitis, especially if it goes untreated. Some complications include severe bleeding, anemia, and fistulas.
- Fistulas may occur in many parts of your body. Women typically may get recto-vaginal fistulas in which a tube grows to connect the rectum to the vagina. Hence women may have fecal matter coming out of their vagina. Both men and women may get anal fistulas, which connect the rectum to the skin. Feces may come out of an opening other than the anus. These fistulas can also become infected and cause complications themselves.
Eugene Hardin, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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