What is anal fissure?
An anal fissure is a tear or ulcer (open sore) that develops in the lining of the anal canal. It is quite common and can affect 1 in 10 people at any time in their life.
Signs and symptoms
- sharp pain when you pass stools (faeces), often followed by a deep burning pain that may last several hours
- bleeding when you pass stools most people notice a small amount of bright red blood either in their stools or on the toilet paper
What causes anal fissure?
Anal fissures are most commonly caused by damage to the lining of the anus or anal canal. Most cases occur in people who have constipation.
Other possible causes of anal fissures include:
- persistent diarrhoea
- inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis
- pregnancy and childbirth
- occasionally, some sexually transmitted infections (STI)
- having unusually tight anal sphincter muscles (the muscles that surround the anal canal), which can increase the tension in your anal canal and make it more susceptible to tearing
In many cases, no clear cause can be identified.
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