What are anal fissures and how are they caused?

Anal fissures refer to a tear in the lining of the anus and are usually caused by dry bowel movement which can lead to a tear in the anal lining. This is often exacerbated when the anal sphincter, a muscle that wraps around the anus, gets tense. This is more likely to happen when the anus in injured.

If you’re suffering from an anal fissure, you may experience:

  • Tearing, ripping, or burning pain when you experience a bowel movement
  • Bleeding during bowel movements
  • Itching or irritation around the anus

What kind of tests might I have to undergo?

Generally, a doctor will check for anal fissures by gently spreading your buttocks apart and inspecting for tears.

If there are signs of bleeding, you may have to undergo a colonoscopy. Here, a thin tube with a camera will be inserted through your rectum and guided into your colon. Your doctor will then check for any signs of bleeding.

What kind of treatment can I expect?

Dietary and lifestyle change are among the most effective treatment in these cases. In this regard, consuming food rich in fibre can help ease your digestive process.

In terms of medication, doctors usually recommend fibre supplements, pain relief creams, and in severe cases, undertake surgery.

Additionally, you can also take stool softeners, which can help make your bowel movements less painful.

You could also take a sitz bath, where you soak your rectum in warm water for around 10-15 minutes, several times a day. This helps relieve pain and relaxes your sphincter.

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