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Proctitis

What Is Proctitis?

Proctitis is defined as inflammation of your anus (the opening) and lining of your rectum (lower part of the intestine leading to the anus). Symptoms can vary greatly. You may at first have only minor problems. Proctitis affects the last 6 inches of the rectum and can cause the following:

  • Pain during a bowel movement
  • Soreness in your anal and rectal area
  • Feeling that you didn't completely empty your bowels after a bowel movement
  • Involuntary spasms and cramping during bowel movements
  • Bleeding, and possibly a discharge

Proctitis can last a short time or become a chronic condition (last for weeks or months or longer).

What Causes Proctitis?

Proctitis has many causes, but sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are the most common. Gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, anal warts, and chlamydia are the most common cause of sexually transmitted proctitis. Proctitis is increasingly more common in homosexual men and in people engaging in oral-anal or anal intercourse with many partners.

Other causes include the following:

  • Nonsexually transmitted infections
  • Autoimmune diseases of the colon such as Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Harmful physical agents
    • Chemicals
    • Foreign objects placed in the rectum
    • Trauma to your anorectal area
    • Radiation (a side effect from treatment for another illness)
    • Antibiotics (a side effect from treatment for another illness)
Last Reviewed 11/21/2017
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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs, venereal diseases) are among the most common infectious diseases in the United States today. STDs are sometimes referred to as sexually transmitted infections, since these conditions involve the transmission of an infectious organism between sex partners. More than 20 different STDs have been identified, and about 19 million men and women are infected each year in the United States, according to the CDC (2010).

Depending on the disease, the infection can be spread through any type of sexual activity involving the sex organs, the anus, or the mouth; an infection can also be spread through contact with blood during sexual activity. STDs are infrequently transmitted by other types of contact (blood, body fluids or tissue removed from an STD infected person and placed in contact with an uninfected person).


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Proctitis »

Proctitis is inflammation of the lining of the rectum, called the rectal mucosa.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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