Rectal bleeding is when blood passes through your rectum and anus. It can occur with or without a bowel movement. Rectal bleeding may be a sign of a serious problem in the rectum, colon, or upper GI tract. Call your doctor right away if you have any rectal bleeding.
Rectal Bleeding and GI Problems
The cause of rectal bleeding may be found in any region of the GI tract. The colon or rectum may be the site of your bleeding problem. Or, bleeding may be due to problems further up the GI tract, such as in the small intestine, duodenum, or stomach.
Causes of Rectal Bleeding
- Hemorrhoids (swollen veins in the anus)
- Fissures (tears in or near the anus)
- Diverticulosis (inflamed pockets in the colon wall)
- Ulcers in the upper GI tract and inflammation of the large intestine
- Abnormal tissue growths (tumors or polyps) in the GI tract
- A bulging rectum (also called a rectal prolapse)
- Abnormal blood vessels in the small intestine or in the colon
- Rectal pain, itching, or soreness
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea with blood clots
Rectal bleeding can also occur without pain.