Bleeding Coming from Anus But No Bowel Movement

Bleeding of any type from the anus can be frightening. This can be bleeding directly from the anus, rectum, or even from your colon. Bleeding from anus without bowel movement can be very concerning, especially if you have no idea what is causing it to happen. You may notice the blood is either bright red or dark in color. This article will help you understand some of the reasons why this happens and what to do.

Causes of Bleeding from Anus Without Bowel Movement

1. Hemorrhoids

Anal bleeding without bowel movement could be due to hemorrhoids. These are veins in the rectum that can become swollen with blood. You may even see them on the outside of your anus and feel them with your finger. They can at times rupture and bleed without having a bowel movement. This blood is bright red in color because it is fresh. Other symptoms include itching around the anus, pain and pressure, and trouble sitting. 


  • Sitting or standing for long periods of time
  • Pregnancy
  • Not enough fiber in the diet
  • Aging
  • Being overweight
  • Constipation 

2. Rectal Ulcer

Rectal ulcers are actually quite rare, but can occur if you have long-term constipation or experience trauma to the rectal area or anus. Abrasions near the rectum allow bacteria to enter the open area and form an ulcer. If the infection becomes severe you may experience rectal bleeding. Other symptoms include rectal pain, feeling of fullness near the rectum, discharge from rectum mixed with blood, and feeling like you need to have a bowel movement. 


  • Injury
  • Scratching at the area with fingernails
  • Constipation
  • Attempting to remove stool impaction
  • Rectal prolapse

3. Proctitis

When the rectum becomes inflamed it is called proctitis. This is a very painful condition and can cause bleeding from the rectum without a bowel movement. It can also lead to rectal infection if left untreated. Other symptoms include feeling like you need to move your bowels, discharge mixed with blood, abdominal pain, and constant rectal bleeding that is bright red. 


  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Infection
  • Medications
  • Radiation treatments for bowel or colon cancer 

4. Colon Polyps

These growths occur in the lining of your colon, but can get as far down as the rectum. They are most often benign and can bleed at any time. You will notice the blood is darker red or even brown. Some polyps can turn into colon cancer, but not always. They should be treated and removed just to be safe. Anyone over the age of 50 should have a colonoscopy for screening. Other symptoms include anemia, change in bathroom habits, pain, nausea, etc. Sometimes polyps have no other symptoms so regular screening is important. 


  • Abnormal cells in the colon
  • Gene mutations
  • Family history of colon polyps
  • Bowel disease 

5. Anal Fissure

When you get a small tear in the anal tissue, this is known as a fissure. They can cause bleeding from anus without bowel movement, but usually follow a traumatic event to the anus or rectum. Other symptoms include pain, itching, withholding stool due to pain, and possible infection with passage of mucus. 


  • Changes in anus that weaken tissue (weak pelvic floor muscle, hormones, etc.)
  • Chronic constipation
  • Inflammation to the tissues
  • Trauma (penetration)

6. Colon Cancer

Bleeding from the anus without having a bowel movement could signal colon cancer. This is a slow-growing and common form of cancer, but is highly treatable if caught early. Other symptoms include changes in bowel habits, weakness, weight loss, food intolerances (irritable bowel), and anemia.  


  • Colon polyps
  • Family history
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Radiation treatments to the lower colon

Treatments for Bleeding from Anus Without Bowel Movement

Important Note: Bleeding from the rectum could be a serious emergency. If you have bleeding from your rectum that is not stopping, call 9-1-1. 

The treatments for minor bleeding from the anus include: 

  • Bulk forming laxatives
  • Stool softeners
  • High fiber diet
  • Sitz baths 

If conservative home treatment is not effective, the doctor may try: 

  • Steroid creams
  • Treating any infection with antibiotics
  • Lidocaine based ointment
  • Nitroglycerin
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Surgery to repair or remove polyps, fissures, or ulcers 

Tips and Precautions to Prevent Bleeding

Try these things at home for minor bleeding from your rectum: 

  • Keep the area clean and dry. Try to avoid scented soaps or anything irritating if you have bright red bleeding. Just rinse with water and pat dry a few times daily. 
  • Try witch hazel compresses. Witch hazel is an anti-inflammatory. If you have bleeding due to hemorrhoids, it can help shrink them. It is also an astringent and can help prevent infection.  
  • Use plain unscented toilet paper. Also make sure you buy the soft kind. Scents or rough toilet paper can irritate the area. 
  • Wear only white cotton underwear to prevent sweating and infection. Cotton allows your body to breathe and prevents sweating or bacterial growth. 
  • Do not scratch or touch the area with bare hands. Your nails and hands can harbor bacteria that may be spread to open areas in your rectum. Also, never try to manually disimpact your bowel if you are constipated. This can cause tears in the area. 
  • Avoid aspirin or ibuprofen, they can increase bleeding. Aspirin and ibuprofen both have blood thinning properties. Using these while you have rectal bleeding can make things worse. Stick to plain acetaminophen. 
  • Eat a diet high in fiber. Constipation is one of the most common causes of bleeding from the anus. Make sure you eat plenty of fiber to help prevent any trauma to the anus.
  • Do not sit or stand in one position too long. Sitting or standing in one place for too long can cause pressure on the anus and rectum. This can cause hemorrhoid ruptures and lead to random bleeding.
  • Treat diarrhea and constipation promptly. Diarrhea and constipation can cause irritation to the lining of the colon, anus, and rectum. This can lead to bleeding from anus without bowel movement even hours after you have left the toilet. In this case, you may notice a darker red blood. 
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