The anus is that part of the intestinal tract that passes through the muscular canal of the pelvis and anal sphincters. It is the final orifice through which stool passes out of the body. In adults, the anus is 4 to 5 centimeters long. The lower half of the anal canal has sensitive nerve endings. There are blood vessels under the lining, and in its mid portion there are numerous tiny, anal glands. This article describes four disorders that cause anal pain and irritation:.
An anal fissure is a tear in the lining of the lower rectum anal canal that causes pain during bowel movements. Anal fissures don't lead to more serious problems. Most anal fissures heal with home treatment after a few days or weeks. These are called short-term acute anal fissures. If you have an anal fissure that hasn't healed after 8 to 12 weeks, it is considered a long-term chronic fissure. A chronic fissure may need medical treatment.
Anorectal problems usually bring up the rear in polite conversation, but they can turn your priorities upside down. Symptoms range from itching to bleeding, to pain, or even leakage of stool fecal incontinence. In most cases, the causes are mild disorders that you can manage on your own. But you should know when to call your doctor, what tests and treatments are available, and when to expect referral to a specialist.
Anal fissure fissure-in-ano is a very common anorectal condition. The exact etiology of this condition is debated; however, there is a clear association with elevated internal anal sphincter pressures. Though hard bowel movements are implicated in fissure etiology, they are not universally present in patients with anal fissures. Half of all patients with fissures heal with nonoperative management such as high fiber diet, sitz baths, and pharmacological agents. When nonoperative management fails, surgical treatment with lateral internal sphincterotomy has a high success rate.