The Most Common Causes of Anal Fissures

When you’re suffering from the pain of anal fissures, you want discretion and sensitivity as well as knowledgeable care. A visit to Paonessa Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC, provides the environment you want when experiencing this common issue. 

There are plenty of reasons why anal fissures develop, and for people who are prone to them, they can reoccur frequently. Understanding why they happen may help you avoid future episodes. 

What is an anal fissure? 

The anal canal is a short, muscular tube located at the end of your rectum. During a bowel movement, the anal sphincter relaxes to allow stool through your rectum. An anal fissure is a crack or tear in the delicate mucosal tissue that lines the anal canal. 

An anal fissure may cause sharp, shooting pain from the anus and surrounding area. The fissure may also cause discomfort and bleeding during a bowel movement, and, at times, it can be itchy. 

Anal discomfort, blood in the toilet after a bowel movement, and anal itching are also the same symptoms you may experience with hemorrhoids, and like many people, you may self-diagnose your symptoms incorrectly.

However, whether your symptoms are caused by an anal fissure or hemorrhoids, you should never disregard them, especially if your symptoms include blood in your stool. That’s why it’s important to visit Dr.Nina Paonessa, a specialist in rectal disorders like anal fissures. She can diagnose and treat your condition to alleviate your discomfort and prevent further complications.

Common causes of anal fissures

Anal fissures result from a trauma to the delicate mucosal tissue. You may develop a painful tear after passing large or hard stools. Straining during a bowel movement commonly causes tears in this tissue. Chronic diarrhea and anal intercourse may also lead to fissures. 

Age is another factor in the development of anal fissures. Decreases in blood flow to the area make the tissue more fragile. Anal fissures may also occur in women during the strain of childbirth.

Though not as common, fissures may accompany conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), HIV, syphilis, or tuberculosis. 

Treating anal fissures

Anal fissures typically take a few weeks to heal with home care. To minimize tissue strain and further trauma, try increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods and drinking more water to help soften your stools and improve bowel movements. Soaking in a sitz bath a few times a day for 10–20 minutes also supports healing by helping the sphincter muscle to relax. 

If your anal fissure fails to heal within eight weeks, then you may have a chronic fissure that requires further medical intervention. If this is the case, it’s time to contact Paonessa Colon & Rectal Surgery, PC, by phone or online. Anal fissures are uncomfortable, but they’re both treatable and avoidable. Book your consultation with Dr. Paonessa today.

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