Bleeding from the rectum in females after a bowel movement can be a frightening experience. Initially panic and fear might lead one to think there may be a serious condition because blood in the stool is not a natural occurrence and may require immediate medical attention. Fortunately, it is usually something very simple and benign, like anal fissures which are often minor cuts or scrapes along the gastrointestinal tract near the opening of the anus. Fissures are a fairly common condition, affecting men and women in all walks of life. Constipation and hard stools are the main culprits when, as the stool scrapes the anal lining, bleeding results as the sufferer strains during a bowel movement.
Another common condition that may cause rectal bleeding is hemorrhoids. Although many people have hemorrhoids, not all experience the same symptoms. The most common symptom of hemorrhoids is bright red blood covering the stool, blood on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.
Pregnant women are especially susceptible to rectal bleeding. Pregnancy can cause constipation, followed by straining which may finally result in hemorrhoids. The reason may be simply mechanical from the pressure exerted by the heavy womb as the fetus compresses the intestine, putting more pressure on the rectum. Also female hormonal problems caused by rising progesterone levels can occur. The more progesterone, the less likely the colon is able to absorb water, an important factor in helping the stool slide down the anal passage. For most women this is a temporary situation as the entire gastrointestinal system rights itself after childbirth.
To be sure, there are not more serious problems causing bleeding from the rectum in females like colon cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease, irritable bowel and peptic ulcers.
For any of the above, evaluation and proper diagnosis by a physician is very important. Be aware that bleeding from the rectum or where blood is found in the stool, on toilet tissue or in the toilet bowl, the cause should be sourced as soon as possible. Your doctor will examine the anus and rectum for swollen blood vessels and perform a digital rectal exam with a gloved lubricated finger to probe for any abnormalities or lumps. There are other more involved examinations to explore the entire rectum in order to rule out any and all causes of bleeding from the rectum.