Proctitis is an inflammation of the rectum. It can cause discomfort, bleeding, and the discharge of mucus or pus.
Inflammation - rectum; Rectal inflammation
There are many causes of proctitis. They can be grouped as follows:
- Autoimmune disease
- Harmful substances
- Non-sexually transmitted infection
- Sexually transmitted disease (STD)
Infections that are not sexually transmitted are less common than STD proctitis. One type of proctitis not from an STD is an infection in children that is caused by the same bacteria as strep throat.
Proctitis may also be caused by some medicines, radiotherapy or inserting harmful substances into the rectum.
Risk factors include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- High-risk sexual practices such as anal sex
- Bloody stools
- Rectal bleeding
- Rectal discharge, pus
- Rectal pain or discomfort
- Tenesmus (pain with bowel movement)
Exams and Tests
Tests that may be used include:
Most of the time, proctitis will go away when the cause of the problem is treated. Antibiotics are used if an infection is causing the problem.
Corticosteroids or mesalamine suppositories may relieve symptoms for some people.
The outcome is good with treatment.
Complications may include:
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of proctitis.
Safe sex practices may help prevent the spread of the disease.
Coates WC. Disorders of the anorectum. In: Marx JA, Hockberger RS, Walls RM, et al, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2014:chap 96.
Fisher WE. The digestive system. In: Kellerman RD, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2015. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 8.
Kellerman RD. The sexually transmitted diseases. In: Kellerman RD, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2015. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 14.
Reviewed By: Subodh K. Lal, MD, Gastroenterologist with Gastrointestinal Specialists of Georgia, Austell, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.