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Anal fissure

An anal fissure is a small tear in the lining of your bottom (anus).

Symptoms of an anal fissure include a sharp pain and bleeding when you poo.

An anal fissure usually heals on its own. Treatment includes avoiding constipation, and medicines to reduce pain and speed up healing.

Anal fissures are usually caused by constipation. Other causes include long-lasting diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease, pregnancy and childbirth.

Read more on the NHS website.

Symptoms of an anal fissure include a sharp pain and bleeding when you poo.

Anal fissure symptoms

The most common symptoms of anal fissures are:

Read more on the NHS website.

An anal fissure usually heals on its own. Treatment includes avoiding constipation, and medicines to reduce pain and speed up healing.

Medical treatments

A GP can prescribe medication to help relieve your symptoms and speed up the healing process.

This can include laxatives to help you poo more easily and painkilling ointment that you put directly on your anus.

Surgery may be recommended in persistent cases of anal fissure where self-help measures and medicine have not helped.

Surgery is often very effective at treating anal fissures, but it does carry a small risk of complications, such as temporary or permanent loss of bowel control (bowel incontinence).

Anal fissures usually heal within a few weeks without the need for treatment.

But they can easily come back if they're caused by constipation that remains untreated.

In some people, symptoms from anal fissures last 6 weeks or more (chronic anal fissures).

Self-care

Adopting some simple self-help measures can make going to the toilet easier.

This will allow existing fissures to heal, as well as reduce your chances of developing new fissures in the future.

Self-help measures for avoiding constipation include:

  • plenty of fibre in your diet, such as fruit and vegetables and wholemeal bread, pasta and rice – adults should aim to eat at least 30g of fibre a day
  • staying well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids
  • not ignoring the urge to poo – this can cause your poo to dry out and become harder to pass
  • exercising regularly – you should aim to do at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week

You can help soothe the pain by taking simple painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, or by soaking your bottom in a warm bath several times a day, particularly after a bowel movement.

Read more on the NHS website.

Anal fissures are usually caused by constipation. Other causes include long-lasting diarrhoea, inflammatory bowel disease, pregnancy and childbirth.

Read more on the NHS website.