What is it?

Proctitis is inflammation of the lining of the rectum, the lower end of the large intestine leading to the anus. The large intestine and anus are part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There are many causes for proctitis, among them we may find: sexual transmitted infections and other infections, trauma to the rectum, inflammatory bowel disease, radiation therapy, and antibiotics.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of proctitis may include: tenesmus - an uncomfortable and frequent urge to have a bowel movement, lower gastrointestinal bleeding, feeling of rectal fullness, abdominal, anal or rectal pain, and rectal discharge.

Diagnosis

To diagnose proctitis your doctor will ask about your medical history, symptoms, family history and sexual behavior. Then he or she will conduct a physical examination that may include a rectal examination to detect any reason for your symptoms. Your doctor may use other tests to get to the right diagnosis, like: rectal culture to test for infection, anoscopy to examine the anal canal, or sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy to help diagnose inflammatory bowel disease.

Treatment

Treatment of proctitis depends on its cause. Bacterial infections of the rectum can be treated with antibiotics. Proctitis caused by inflammatory bowel disease can be treated with steroids in acute phase, or other immune-mediated drugs in chronic phase. Mild proctitis can be treated with over-the-counter medicines like non-steroids anti-inflammatory drugs and enemas.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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