What is An Anal Discharge?
You should seek immediate medical help if you experience any type of anal discharge that is not related to the passing of stool and diarrheal conditions. Aside from bloody faeces (which should also be reported), any other discharge or liquid that is released from the anus or rectal area should be looked at immediately, since this can occur for many different reasons.
Reasons would include but not limited to: external and inner mucosal abscesses, side effects from common weight management medications such as Alli or Xenical, Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Chronic of the lower intestinal tract that could also include the rectal area such as inflammatory bowel diseases, fecal impaction, bacterial and viral gastroenteritis and food intolerance, sexually transmitted diseases, and anal fistulas which occur as a result of an abnormal connection between two organs.
Fistulas develop from and are actual rips or tears in the mucosal lining or layers of the anal cavity or canal. They can also develop from infection from anal abscess that are filled with pus in and around the surrounding tissues and areas which spreads.
Keep a watch for accompanying symptoms
Rectal discharge may accompany other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. If the anal discharge is caused from a serious condition, other symptoms could be present, so do pay attention to anything outside the ordinary. Pay attention to any cramping or pain, bleeding, high fevers, especially those over 101 degrees. Common symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Inability to control bowel movements (incontinence)
- Blood or pus from the rectal area
- Very dark red, or very tarry black stool
- Constipation, diarrhea, and extreme flatulence
- Cramps or severe abdominal or back pain
- Bloated, distended and swollen stomach
- Abnormal bowel movements and changes in stool (color, texture)
- Extreme fatigue, joint pains and muscular aches
- Rash, and bloody or extreme watery stools
It is also a good idea to keep a log of your experience until you see a doctor. Be sure to include the following information in your log since the doctor will likely ask the following questions:
- How often the leaking occurs, time of day, texture, color?
- When did you first notice the discharge?
- Do you take any medications, herbs, supplements? (Have your list ready if you do).
- Have you maintained a consistent diet?
- Have you added anything new to your diet?
- Have you noticed other abnormal symptoms?
- What medications are you taking?
Understandably, this can be a source of embarrassment for some individuals. However, remember that your doctor is a trained professional and is familiar with such conditions. Since your condition could be a serious one, not seeing your doctor because of embarrassment means you will be taking the risk of your condition worsening and this could also result in more serious complications and the onset of other conditions.
It is critical that you seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you know experiences any type of unexplained, sudden anal discharge and especially if accompanied other serious symptoms previously mentioned.
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